Articles/Essays From Pagans
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)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
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
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
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
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
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
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
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: 2,949
Times Read: 2,822
RSS Views: 32,864
Author: Meph [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: November 9th. 2008
Times Viewed: 2,822
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 1997-2016 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 G5.
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.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
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).