I did a spiritual formation retreat last weekend and shared on Dallas Willard and Henri Nouwen’s work; specifically looking at their views on transformation.
Both use the starting point of longing/desire/deep need, which is a “goal” or vision.
I think this can also be used for a general understanding of pastoral short term counseling. It’s goal oriented and it offers a framework for us to “play in”.
I’m generally seeing some “metanarrative” themes when it comes to naming our longings/vision:
- We long for/need Love. This could be affirmation, belonging, acceptance, encouragement, community.
- We long for/need healing. Much of the work of Jesus was being a healing presence and then talking about it. This healing could be from past hurts, grief/loss, trauma, medical, financial, addictions, depression.
- We long for/need meaning and purpose. This could be direction, clarity, identity, mission. We have a God given impulse to contribute to this world and find things that are bigger than us.
Short term pastoral counseling is very helpful for many as a means to address specific inner movements that someone might be experiencing.