Pastoral care, non-religious chaplaincy

There are times when we can all benefit from someone to chat with, to talk issues through rather than having full-on counselling or psychotherapy to focus on a specific challenge. Rather than signing up for a long-term course of sessions with agreed targets, goals or outcomes, they want a session or two to discuss things more generally. Pastoral care offers a fully confidential yet less formal relationship covering a wide range of issues. It is possible to book sessions as and when they would be helpful, or to check in regularly every month or so to have the opportunity to step back and evaluate the bigger picture of how life is panning out.

Trained in Humanistic pastoral care, I am a member of the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network and work as a member of the chaplaincy team of our local hospital and provide a service online for organisations and individuals. Pastoral care can be of great help for those working from home, especially for those new to the role. I've been working from home since the 1980s and have experienced both the pitfalls and benefits.

In 2020, I completed an MA in Existential and Humanistic Pastoral Care. As well as a dissertation, this included further instruction in counselling, coaching and philosophy, studies on ethics and world religions and training as a celebrant for non-religious naming, wedding and funeral ceremonies. I suppose I'm the nearest thing to an atheist priest!

As Eric Berne said, we don't need to be ill to want to get better. If you would like to talk to someone in a wider-ranging, less structured way than formal counselling or psychotherapy, perhaps this could be an option for you?