If you’re doing pastoral counseling at your church, when do you refer the person to a local counselor?
If you meet with someone in your congregation and determine that they need more help than you can offer, refer them to local counselors or counseling centers that you trust.
**Keep in mind, this means that you have ALREADY created an index of local counselors and counseling centers.
Referring a congregation member out, however, may not be easy for them to accept. Especially if it took them a lot of courage to admit to you that they need help.
This script will help you navigate the conversation in a healthy and loving way. You can, of course, modify it based on the situation and your personality.
Thanks for meeting with me. I admire anyone who will admit they need help. It’s a courageous step!
Like we talked about in the beginning of our initial meeting, there may be times when I refer people to another counselor that I trust. After our time together, I believe that there are counselors who have the skill and expertise to help you move toward healing. I want what’s best for you, so I suggest that your next step is to meet with one of the counselors I recommend.
If you agree, I will follow through until you are connected with the best person for you and your needs. You can be confident that this church will stand behind you and support you in every way we can.
Let me know what you want to do. Thank you again for taking a courageous step!
Want more practical help with pastoral counseling (a pastoral practice that can be both overwhelming and confusing)?
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P.S. This can be such a tricky subject, so please refer to this resource for more information.