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A Ground-breaking, MUST HAVE for any Pagan Clergy, Priest or Priestess|
The Pagan Clergy's Guide For Counseling, Crisis Intervention and Otherworld Transitions
Author: Rev. Kevin Gardner
Publisher: Waning Moon Publications
Category: Pagan Level: Advanced
'Every new religious movement reaches a point where it matures
into a true spiritual path. Occasionally a book comes along which
marks that evolution from such a movement being inward looking
to looking outwards to understand it's true purpose. The Pagan
Clergys Guide... is one of those books. It marks the transition of
Wicca into a Priesthood of service to the community and the
divine. We can't speak more highly of this book. It is well written,
well sourced and has gems of wisdom that only come from
experience. We would recommend it to any practicing wiccan
priestess/priest as an essential book for their shelf'.
Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone RN. Authors: A Witches Bible, A
Witches Goddess, Spells and How they Work, The Healing Craft
and Progressive Witchcraft.
"This well researched book is an easy read and an excellent
reference for Pagan's involved in chaplaincy work."
Author: Wiccan Warrior, Full Contact Magick and Magickal Self
From basic counseling skills through crisis intervention, marital
and family counseling, grief and other transitional issues, Kevin is
there to hold your hand, provide insights into behaviors and
motivations, and guide you around the pitfalls and problems
inherent in any counseling relationship.
The unique aspects of counseling those with developing psychic
or magickal abilities are handled with common sense and caution,
helping the counselor to discriminate between psychic and
psychotic, and to handle the effects of magickal workings. Long
awaited and desperately needed, this little volume may well prove
to be THE guide for Priests and Priestesses in any counseling role.
Rhiannon, Wiccan Priestess, Co-founder of SerpentStone,
Psychiatric Nurse, BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) , Master
of Science in Counseling.
Kevin's new book is a blessing for those of us who constantly take
on the challenge of assisting Pagans in crisis. With all the books
out there that constantly rehash Paganism 101, this book provides
a "sigh of relief" in assisting clergy with tough "fieldwork". Add this
book to your collection of necessary resources for crisis
intervention with the Pagan population.
Ms. Ann E. Oxyer-Sorley
This work is intended for advanced-level Pagan practitioners who feel the call to fulfill the role of Clergy within their tradition. The book explains what Pastoral Counseling is and how to do this type of counseling in plain easy to understand terminology, and the clinical words commonly used in counseling and therapy are also explained in easy to understand terms. Areas of focus are Family and Marital Counseling, pre and post divorce counseling, crisis counseling and intervention, grief counseling and I distinguish Grief Counseling from Grief Therapy, which should only be done by licensed professionals. Additionally, I cover extensively working with the dying and their families, and working with the bereaved; I explain the process from the time of death until the remains are released to the family, and what a Clergy person needs to attend to and what s/he should expect as tasks. This is followed by a selection of Memorial/Funeral services for Celtic, Nordic, Grecian, Egyptian and non-denominational paths, as well as a complete service for a child and suicide victim as well as a graveside service. I have a chapter on counseling the elderly as well as a selection of prayers one may use as is or modify to fit the circumstances.
Currently, to my knowledge, there is no other book like this available for Pagan Clergy, which focuses upon the unique perspectives and circumstances of counseling Pagan practitioners, that is other than some material on counseling I had previously included in my two other books. I feel that this book fills a nitch, which has been grossly over-looked, yet sorely needed by the Pagan Community.
Table of Contents
The Priest-ess as Crisis Counselor
Guidelines for Evaluating Crisis Intervention Counseling
Techniques and Procedures for Dealing with Crisis
Marital and Family Counseling
Post Divorce Counseling
Death and Dying
Guided Meditations for the Dying
Dealing with and Working through Grief
Normal Grief Reactions
Other Manifestations of Grieving
Funerary Counseling and Rituals
The Officiant's Role
Upon receiving Notification of a Death
Scheduling the Service
The Funeral Home Visit
During the Memorial Service
Concluding the Service
Generic Memorial Service
Nordic Memorial Service
Celtic Memorial Service
Egyptian Memorial Service
Grecian Memorial Service
Memorial Service for a Child (Non-Denominational)
Memorial Service for a Suicide (Non-Denominational)
A Non-Denominational Graveside Service
Counseling Older Persons
Retirement, Entering a New Phase of Life
General Counseling for Seniors
How to Begin Counseling a Person Older than You?
A Short Collection of Prayers
Chapter Two Pages 1 & 2
Crisis is an evolutionary process of life. It is a necessary part of growth and development, which we must all experience in order to ascend to a higher level of being. This process often entails the breaking down or even annihilation of the persona or ego from which the person can then be guided to reintegrate the best parts of the “self” and personality to become a better, stronger, more harmonious being. Without crisis, living creatures become soft and stagnant and easily crushed and destroyed when adverse conditions occur. The process of personal evolution requires that we become greater than we are. And it takes crisis to sometimes relieve us of those things, which are holding us back. This refers to both the process of life in the physical world as well as we as spiritual beings.
There is a danger within this process however in that if reintegration of “self” doesn’t happen then a degeneration of “self” occurs. The result is the feeling of “self-loss” commonly evolving into psychosis and mental illness. Often the lifeline becomes the Spiritual Counselor, who can offer some sort of spiritual insight or religious guidance to help the person better understand why this traumatic event has happened in his/her life and to find the spiritual strength necessary to work through the crisis event. If there is no lifeline available the person’s condition tends to worsen and if that person cannot summon up the inner strength to begin reintegrating the “self” then the development of psychosis is usually the result.
As previously stated, crisis is a part of the process of living. Sometimes it is brought on by the way we are living. When this is the case, Spirit or “the powers that be” seem to step into our lives and dash our “world” to pieces. This is because it has become time for us to make some major life or life-style changes. We have started to swim against the Universal flow and things will get progressively more and more difficult until we decide to let go and become realigned with the greater cosmic plan of the Universe.
This is a part of what is termed the “make or break” process in any crisis situation. The pressure increases, creating anxiety, sometimes even to the point of panic. Our old methods of coping have suddenly become inadequate and the constraints that have made us comfortable have been shattered and suddenly we feel lost, vulnerable, exposed, confused, and we don’t know what to do or where to turn. A complete breakdown of “self” occurs, and even if it does proceed to the point of psychosis, there is still the potential for problem solving to take place, but the person will need help in achieving focus and direction. So the outcome of a crisis event for a person is very dependent upon the presence or absence of a supportive unit of family, friends, religious leaders and/or psychotherapists, who can help the individual find some purpose around which self-integration can take place.
Before beginning to discuss some of the most likely types of Crisis Counseling you as a Spiritual Counselor may be faced with, it may be best to touch upon the elements a good counselor should try to utilize in counseling sessions. In the 1940’s Carl Rogers did a great deal of research in establishing what makes up the basic elements of good counseling. These elements are considered to be of such importance that they are drilled into the heads of grad-school level Psychologists and Therapists and serve as the foundation of modern psychotherapy. These three core conditions as defined by Carl Rogers are basically as follows:
A. Congruence - meaning the counselor's words, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors match. This term was to include the concepts of honesty, genuineness, authenticity, spontaneity, concreteness, and in laymen’s terms, just being real.
B. Unconditional Positive Regard – meaning the Counselor conveys acceptance, respect, warmth, and the recognition of inherent value in the person regardless of their situation, status, or difficulties. Or in more simple terms, the counselor respects the client as a worthy being unconditionally, and genuinely cares about the client’s welfare and worth as a person, as well as the client’s potential for growth.
C. Empathy - meaning the understanding of the other's situation, status, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as they experience them, and being able to at least partially enter into that experience with them.
Of the three core conditions mentioned above, probably the most important one is empathy. This is because it often forms the foundation upon which the others are built. Empathy allows us to accurately communicate on both verbal and non-verbal levels, and establish a rapport with the client. When the counselee feels that you are sharing in the experience with him, he will become more at ease with you. This in turn facilitates trust and helps to establish an open dialogue through which the client can begin openly sharing repressed feelings, emotions and thoughts with you as counselor.
Congruence is both the means and end of counseling. On one hand, it has to do with the amount of help the counselor is able to give to the client in helping him to be very specific about his feelings, experiences, language, and meanings, by not letting the client speak in generalities. This is done by a variety of ways ranging from asking the client direct questions, offering suggestions, asking for examples of what the client means by “feeling bad” or “projecting” & etc, or reflecting upon something the client had previously mentioned. This helps the client to establish the connections between the experience, the awareness of the experience, and to facilitate the communication of that awareness to the counselor. The person who is genuinely self-aware, is freely and deeply himself in responding to experiences of all types, he has the ability to explore negative feelings and to channel those feelings towards a positive outcome. A lack of genuineness on the other hand is characterized by being out of touch with one’s own feelings and thus incapable of, or unwilling to express one’s feelings to another in any helpful manner. Often when this type of individual does express his feelings, he will do so by communicating them in a negative way with the intent to be hurtful toward the other person. This type of individual is usually very defensive, often conveying an aura of exaggerated professionalism, projecting a rehearsed quality to his responses, even responding to a particular role rather than expressing what he genuinely feels or means. On the other side of the coin, Congruence refers to the degree to which the counselor allows himself to be openly revealed as a person, through his response to questions, or when the counselor/client relationship has been established, by way of taking the initiative in an appropriate context to share personal life experiences with the client in a constructive manner for the counselee to learn from and apply to his/her own life.
Author's Notes: Reverend Kevin Gardner has been counseling people for over 30 years, and teaching both in person and via correspondence for about 20 years. He has spent 7 years as a Correctional Officer, doing Pastoral Counseling with inmates on a near daily basis. A student of the Wiccan Faith since the early 70's, Kevin Gardner was formally trained through, and a graduate of, the Church & School of Wicca.
Recently Kevin has accepted a Bishops appointment presiding over the Wiccan Diocese with Four Winds Fellowship and another Clergy/mentoring position with the Federal Prison System in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is also enrolled with Vista Care as an Interfaith Minister working with Hospice patients. Currently Kevin is the High Priest of the Temple of Ishtar, located in rural Indiana. More recently he has been inducted into the Bishop's College of The Church of Seven Planes and is now over seeing Bishop of IL and KY
Books by Kevin Gardner include The Pagan Clergy's Guide for Counseling, Crisis Intervention and Otherworld Transitions, A Handbook For Wiccan Clergy and The Wiccan Minister's Manual, A Guide For Priests and Priestesses. Kevin has also had articles published in Circle Magazine, Fate Magazine, Pan Gaia, and The Blessed Bee. In addition to this and his teaching, he often gives lectures at local Pagan Gatherings, & New Age stores.
Where To Buy: Copies available directly from the publisher at http://waningmoon.com/publications/pagan-clergy-guide.html
Autographed Copies available from the author's website; http://www.ladyishtar.org/Kevin_Gardner.html
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