Counseling with Women...

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by FundamentalDan, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. FundamentalDan

    FundamentalDan
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    This topic seems to come up from time to time on different forums, so I am curious to get the pastoral views on it. Would you counsel with a woman alone? Would you counsel with a woman about sexual issues or would you refer her to another lady in the church? Do you believe it is appropriate for a man to discuss intimate issues with a woman if he is trying to counsel her? And, would you counsel with an underaged girl without her parents present?
     
  2. Helen

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    When I was married before, I turned to our pastor for counseling regarding being hit by my ex. I was grateful for the private counseling and his Godly wisdom about the matter. It gave me the courage to change the situation by confronting Bob.

    However, where anything sexual is concerned, it would be MUCH wiser to have an older lady in the church whom you trust as being a mature Christian and definitely NOT a gossip, to step in and do the counseling.

    My brother is an elder in his church and frequently runs into the problems suggested above. He counsels couples only or men only. That is his personal rule.

    An underage anyone should have parents' knowledge and consent regarding counseling unless the problem has to do with the parents abusing the child.

    I know a lay person was not asked about this, but perhaps some of what I have experienced as someone needing counseling before and the parent of six who all used to be underage (!), might be of a little help.
     
  3. TexasSky

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    One of the churches I had solved the "rumor" problem by putting in an easy chair, a small sete', and pane glass windows.

    This way the pastor can sit in his chair, the woman sit on the sete' and the world can watch through the window and see that he is not anywhere near the woman.
     
  4. StefanM

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    And therein lies the problem. All privacy dies. What if the woman doesn't want everyone in the world to know she's being counseled?
     
  5. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Too bad.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  6. TexasSky

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    Meeting with the pastor isn't alwasys being counseled.

    The woman either needs to go to to a woman, or accept that the Pastor's need to be above reproach caused by false rumors is greater than her need to have people think it is a secret.
     
  7. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    What problem? That the counsel of God and the honor of God and His pastor are important?

    No problem - she can go to a secular counselor ...
     
  8. PamelaK

    PamelaK
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    In every church I have been in so far, the rule
    for this situation is that the woman counsels with the Pastor and his wife together.
     
  9. SaggyWoman

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    hmmm.

    My current pastor counsels alone. If he feels the need, he leaves his door open, with the secretary right outside.

    Other pastors? I don't know.
     
  10. TomVols

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    Not if you can help it. You need someone nearby but not close enough to know the matter at hand. But it depends upon the counselee and the subject matter.
    I would not do the latter and I'd rarely do the former. Pastors can become aroused, and the counselee can get a sexual fixation with the pastor. This has caused the downfall of a lot of marriages and ministries.
    Depends on what the "intimate issues" are.
    It may be necessary, but have someone nearby.

    By the way, have someone nearby anyway. Men can attack pastors in their offices. Men can cause rumors to get started. Remember, too, that all the precautions in the world will still not stop 100% of rumors. When in doubt, refer to a solid Christian counselor outside the church.
     
  11. j_barner2000

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    I have been taught to avoid the appearance of evil.

    My office is a front room of the parsonage. Easy to avoid the rumor mill.

    I will not meet with anyone where there may be an accusation of inappropriate conduct that could be reasonably cast against me. There are always the opportunities for unreasonable accusations, however, I try to maintain my integrity as well as humanly possible.
     
  12. Johnv

    Johnv
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    THough I'm not a pastor, I'd like to take a stab at these answers:

    Counselling by nature is private and personal. There's no reason to presume that a pastor wouldn't sometimes be pastoring a female.

    A properly trained pastor should adequately be able to counsel a member on most issues, including sexual issues, and without regard to a person's gender. I'd be amiss to think what would have happenned to the adulterous woman if Jesus would have deferred his opinions until a "qualified woman" arrived.

    As a layman, counsel is counsel. A pastor should be able to counsel on the issues, as wellas most others.
    I would hope a pastor would make himself available, if requested.
     
  13. here now

    here now
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    I think this is a good idea.
     
  14. TomVols

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    I think it's a bad idea to have the wife in. It perpetuates the ill-informed expectation that the pastor's wife be a free associate pastor. It also can create tension on the part of the counselee. They may think confidentiality may be breached.
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    I am careful about counseling a woman about ANY issue - because areas of sexuality can come up at any time and because the normal "relationship" between the counselor/counselee may lead to difficulty.

    I will not go to a home of a woman (without family being there) or have a woman in a car. Appropriate/above reproach.

    So it MAKES SENSE to be super careful even in an office or church setting. Never alone in the building, never alone in a room without a door being open or window.

    Always assume tongues will wag and you do not want to give any cause for people to believe what might be said . . .
     
  16. WallyGator

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    About a year ago, my wife and I had a neighbor in the hospital some 50 miles away. I was at the hospital and my wife was at home. She called the lady's pastor, age 24, and asked if she could ride with him to the hospital. He said it was his practice not to be alone in his car with a woman. My wife felt flattered since she is old enough to be his grandmother. I did respect such a policy from one so young.
     
  17. patrick

    patrick
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    You have to be careful and always above reproach.
     
  18. Brother Ian

    Brother Ian
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    Never alone with a woman, ever. I would counsel her with my wife present.

    I would never discuss intimate issues with a woman. I would refer her to my wife or another female counselor.

    I would never counsel an underage anybody without their parents knowledge and without another present.
     
  19. pastor chep day

    pastor chep day
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    AS A PASTOR EACH SHOULD KNOW HIS FLOK AND KNOW THOSE THAT HAVE LOOSE LIPS AND THOSE THAT HAVE TIGHT LIPS. IF THE PASTOR HAS BEEN UP FRONT WITH HIS FLOK THEN THEY SHOULD ALREADY KNOW HIS STANDARD THAT WHEN COUNSELING A WOMAN ANOTHER SHOULD BE IN EAR SHOT JUST IN CASE THE WOMAN NEEDS A SHOULDER TO CRY ON. I PERSONELY HAVE MY WIFE PRESENT.
     

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