The position of pastoral counselors as pastors of spiritual congregations will help some patients to adapt from institutionalization and settle well into community life. These counselors can facilitate patients interaction with community resources and social teams associated with the patients' non secular affiliations. Some patients newly-diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder might be reluctant at initial stage to work with a psychiatrist but can see a clergy member. In situations like this pastoral counselors can offer passage into the mental health system.
Pastoral counselors are especially well-qualified to manage some types of mental health challenges:
- To acquire a normal spiritual appraisement
- Loss of loved ones or bereavement
- Severe or terminal illness
- Guilt, abuse, vocational confusion, or lack of life direction
- Conflicts concerning patients' own non secular beliefs or those of their families
- Conflicts related to patients' interpretation of the Bible or alternative non secular text.
- To facilitate patients re-integration into the community life after institutionalization
- For patients who believe their mental illness could be a penalty for having insufficient faith
- As a smooth passage into the mental health system
Some patients categorize their mental illness as retribution for a past wrongdoing or sin, and standard psychotherapy is restricted in its capacity to confront this non secular belief. Lack of understanding of biblical or different spiritual texts can support impaired views of illness, and pastoral counselors can facilitate, guide patients to additional information and healthy views of the role of faith and spirituality in health. To help with this, they may bring into therapy such religious concepts as forgiveness, reverence, stewardship, evil, suffering, and repentance.