Religious Science ministers are first and always practitioners and so the counseling offered in our Centres always has “Spirit” as its primary focus.
Knowing this, the minister focusses his or her counseling practice in Spiritual Direction and coaching understanding that the yearning for a sense of meaning and purpose in one’s life is a desire to understand God and one’s relationship to the divine rather than therapeutic practice more common in psychological counseling.
The Minister as … Practitioner
The consciousness that heals … is a recognition of the Principle of Spiritual Causation. It is the understanding that ALL of our problems have at their root an idea, belief, or conviction about ourselves, our world and others that is cause to our experience.
What the healer does through one or more sessions is to mentally uncover and reveal the Truth of Being, which is that God is in and through every person and that this indwelling Presence is and always has been Perfect. This is done through affirmative prayer.
The minister’s role as Practitioner is central to Pastoral Counseling. Although many visit a Practitioner in the midst of crisis or when faced with a specific challenge, a great many individuals find value in meeting with their Practitioner on a regular basis, in the same way that we seek medical care for the prevention of illness and maintaining good health.
The Minister as … Spiritual Director
The evolution of Spiritual Direction has a long history dating back to the first century of the Christian era and even before, to the transmission of the spiritual teachings of Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist tradition
Spiritual direction can mean different things to different people, but in my understanding it is the art of spiritual listening carried out in the context of a one-to-one trusting relationship. It is when one is trained to be a competent guide who then “companions” another person, listening to that person’s life story with an ear for the movement of the Holy, of the Divine.
Spiritual direction, like pastoral counseling, always happens in the context of prayer but with the addition of spiritual intimacy. This is where intimate engagement happens. Whereas in psychotherapy the clinical distance is crucial to bring about objectivity and healing, in spiritual direction discernment is based upon the intimate engagement of two people walking into the Sacred together.
Another difference is that people usually enter pastoral counseling, because something is wrong in their life, whether it is an area of shame, or guilt, or abuse, or addiction, or poor self-image. They’re coming because something is wrong and they want it to be made right. a Spiritual Director is really listening for the stream beneath the stream of the person’s life, . . . for those moments of encounter with the Holy. A classic question is “Where is God in the midst of this experience. . .?”
Directors do not create relationships between God and their directees, they simply foster these relationships so that they may deepen and grow.
In both cases, Religious Science Ministers and Practitioners are regarded as other service-oriented professions in which a fee is charged for services. The counseling fee is $80 for one session.
Schedule An Appointment
To schedule one hour session with Rev. Terry, please email him here.