Articles/Essays From Pagans
February 1st. 2019 ...
Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Lady on the Stairs
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
An Open Mind and Heart
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Other HPS and HP Duties: Counseling – Part I – Introduction
Article Specs |
Article ID: 12964
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,786
Times Read: 3,253
RSS Views: 32,864
Author: Meph [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: November 9th. 2008
Times Viewed: 3,253
This article is the first of a two parts series on training HPS and HP to be as counselors for their coven. This first part introduces why counseling in needed, how to start training, and provides suggestions and resources to use during training. The second part will discuss one very common but under discussed form of counseling – pre-nuptial counseling.
Clergy (HPS and HP) not only preside over rituals, but they have quite a few other duties as well, many of which are not as fun and exciting as running a rit. Counseling is one of the most overlooked. Counseling coveners is a critical duty and one that too often they receive little or no training in.
Even though most HPs and HPS cannot afford to become professional counselors, what they can do is learn to be good non-professional counselors, know when they are in over their heads, and have other professional resources they can go to when needed.
Counseling is usually taught as part of the Second and Third Degree study; your mileage may vary. How it is taught varies as widely as do traditions, but I’ll outline one method. This is certainly not comprehensive nor does it discuss in depth what it taught; it is an outline.
First, students must know what legal restrictions they operate under. Finding yourself in front of a judge because you “didn’t’ know” is not an excuse, nor does it reflect well on either your coven or your tradition. Find out what are your limitations, both legally and realistically. Check your local state laws. You may have legal obligations, especially if you present yourself as clergy of a religion. There are mixed court cases on where and how clergy-petitioner privilege holds. Know your states’ laws. Be especially aware of issues regarding counseling minors and responsibility to report abuse, threatened violence, and suicide.
Learning counseling is a mix of theory and practice as well as experience. For theory, there are limited resources. As initial background, read On Becoming A Counselor, Revised Edition: A Basic Guide for Nonprofessional Counselors and Other Helpers by Eugene Kennedy. This is a good introduction to becoming a non-professional counselor. Other reading more focused on covens includes Judy Harrow’s Wicca Covens (see the chapter on ‘Coven as Magical Growth and Support Group’, especially for why a coven is a support group but not a therapy group, what the difference is and why you, as clergy, need to care) and Amber K’s Covencraft (see the chapter on “Pastoral Counseling’) . Harrow also offers further resources at www.proteuscoven.org/proteus/counselbook.html.
Know Your Limits
As a non-professional counselor, you must always keep in mind what is reasonable for you to try and fix and when a professional is needed. Trying to fix a serious personal psychological problem is beyond your ability as a non-professional; learn when you’ve reached your limit and whom you can refer to.
Know Local Professionals
In order to make informed recommendations yourself, get to know local professional counselors in your area. And be aware you want to recommend counselors who will concentrate on your coveners’ real problems, not their religion or involvement in other subcultures. Although not always perfect, both the Kink-Aware Professionals list ( http://www.ncsfreedom.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper and Itemid=75) and the Poly-Friendly Professional list ( http://www.polychromatic.com/pfp/psych.html) provide starting places to locate local counselors who are already friendly to alternate subcultures. Most counselors will agree to meet with you for introductory sessions where you can ask about their attitudes on relevant topics such as religion.
We bring in a pagan friendly local counselor once a year to our coven for a lecture and to attend a rit. They are asked to do a brief (15-20) minute presentation on what they do and what to expect, and then open the floor up for a Q and A session (which is limited to questions about the process, not questions about the attendees’ problems) . They also stay for the ritual so they have a better understanding of what we do. This gives a face and confidence about the process to coveners who otherwise might shy off asking for help.
Have your prospective HPS and HP go through professional counseling themselves. Regardless of whether they go in for a large or small problem, having gone through the procedure provides them with more experience in counseling itself.
Another key difference in coven counseling is that, as HP and HPS, you have a dual responsibility – to do what is best for the coven as a whole and to do what is best for the individual. Sometimes these may be in conflict and you, as HPS and HP, have to determine which takes precedence. Frequently this means having to do what is best for the coven as a whole. This certainly doesn’t mean deliberately giving bad advice, but it may mean severing a disruptive person from the coven for the good of the coven. And you need to be very clear when you’re counseling which role you’re in. At some point you may have to explicitly say you are working for the good of the coven.
Balance is always a critical component. Being available is part of being HPS and HP, but you must not allow that availability to taken advantage of. When someone is truly needy it’s your responsibility to be there. But you must also sometimes gently push back if it becomes apparent you’re dealing with someone who just wants the attention or who needs to learn to start standing alone.
Counseling may only take a small portion of your time as a HPS and HP, but it is likely to have far more impact on both your coveners and on your coven overall than how well you performed at your last rit. Covens are composed of people and relationships; trying to keep both healthy is just as critical (if not more so) to a functional coven as how well your rituals are run. Are you going to be prepared as an HPS/HP to help keep it healthy?
Covencraft, Amber K, Llewellyn, 1998
On Becoming A Counselor, Revised Edition: A Basic Guide for Nonprofessional Counselors and Other Helpers, Eugene Kennedy, 2001.
Wicca Covens, Judy Harrow, 2000.
Copyright: Copyright © 2008 by Meph. All Rights Reserved. Contact email@example.com for more information or to request permission to reproduce.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Other Articles: Meph has posted 4 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Meph... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2019 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections
(including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.)
are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc.
TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).