Comparative analysis of prayer and pastoral counseling

Educes Humdinger believes that one of the key essentials to the Persephone of pastoral caregiver is kinfolk. When we dedicate ourselves to a Christian life, kayoing is the essential element of our Christianity, because It combines our fellowship, community and communion with God and with others. Van Educes Humdinger states the kayoing is the tells as well as the indispensable means of all true pastoral care. Van Educes Hunger, Pl) If we are experiencing kayoing in our spiritual life, kayoing will be made up of the ultrasonically element that encompasses not only the vertical dimension (our relationship with God), but also the horizontal dimension (our relationship with each other). It starts with ourselves and opening the communication line with God through our prayer life. As we begin to experience the fellowship, community and communion with God, we develop that vertical dimension. Our living out the vertical dimension is witness by others around us.
It Is at this point we begin to realize the horizontal dimension of fellowship, community and communion with others is established. (van Educes Humdinger, up) When the vertical and the horizontal have been established, we achieve a common ground based on humbling ourselves before God and others. In this setting trust and fellowship are established, and ministering and pastoral care between one another can begin. In reading Pastoral Counseling The Basics, Ditties believes that one of the essentials to the Persephone of the pastoral caregiver is kayoing as well.
Ditties is more subtle in his approach to kayoing, than van Educes Hunger. Ditties states that “The pastoral counselor does not pretend to possess godlike powers but Is a humble servant”. Deletes, pop) The multidimensional element of our relationships with God and others is essential to Ditties as well. Ditties also suggests that as we enter into a relationship with others, we enter that relationship with neither a Judgment of perfection or imperfection on the part of the counselor and counseled. Ditties, pop) We once again enter Into a relationship not just vertically and horizontally, but inwardly to self, outwardly to others and upwardly toward God. (van Educes Humdinger 9) (Ditties, IPPP) 2 In the process of examining Pray without Ceasing by Deborah van Educes and Pastoral Counseling The Basics by James E Ditties, I found that the area of pastoral ministry and counseling were virtually the same. While their methodology and terminology appear to be different, the end result is the same. So I have to ask, Do these two authors really differ?

Deletes says that we should be nonchalant, even benign and to empty ourselves to have no preconceived ideas, or so as not to be judgmental. Does this really differ from van Educes Humdinger, who said that our prayer life Is the integral part of our relationship? If I have take the time to empty yeses, Is this really different It I take the time to pray a prayer of petition for myself and for others? 1 OFF placing God in the center is the key if I am to be effective in ministry. Every facet, level or element is relational.
That is to say that all our actions have to be God fed and Spirit led. The first way which I feel that van Educes Humdinger differs from Ditties, but yet they are still alike is in their views about pastoral ministry on the subject of relationship. Van Educes Humdinger’s view is that relationship is the key to pastoral ministry and pastoral counseling. If one is to be effective in pastoral ministry and counseling we must first have a relationship with God. Then we can cultivate a relationship with others. An Educes Humdinger further states that the relationship will consist of a vertical dimension, relationship with God and a horizontal dimension, relationship with each other. This gives the counselor and counseled common ground in which they can experience a relationship of fellowship, community and communion with each other and God. This is a relationship that is entered into emptied of any preconceived idea of the counseled. This way we enter n a basis of honesty, with each other and with God which is non-judgmental and leads to developing openness and trust. Van Educes Humdinger, p 2) Ditties begins his view of relationship with the concept that we should be nonchalant in entering the relationship of pastoral ministry and counseling; that is to state further that we should empty ourselves and renounce the relationship factor and even be benign. This may sound harsh, but Ditties is getting to the same point that van Educes Humdinger is making that we must be the humble servant and create an open, non- judgmental atmosphere. Ditties p 89) Ditties view of the relationship is not vertical or horizontal; his view is inward, outward and upward.
The relationship is inward to view self, outward to view other and upward to include God in the center of the relationship. (Ditties p 153) 3 While the two views may appear to differ, they are, in reality, the same with Just a difference of methodology and terminology. The second way which I feel that van Educes Humdinger differs from Ditties but yet is still alike, is in their views about pastoral ministry. Is it pastoral care or pastoral counseling or Just counseling? Van Educes Humdinger view is that spiritual fellowship or kayoing is the basis for pastoral ministry to be possible.
When kayoing flourishes so does pastoral care. The never ending constant follow of love, hope and grace from God is the building block for pastoral ministry. (van Educes Humdinger, p 3) Ditties tells us in the chapter on Counseling as God’s Call, that the nagging questions are, Is it pastoral? Is it in keeping with one’s call into ministry? Or is it distraction from the call? (Ditties p 145) I believe the Ditties offers these questions to make us consider all the facets of ministry and to concentrate on the area of pastoral ministry and counseling to make sure the we have involved God in the center of all areas of ministry.
While on the surface this appears to be a radical difference from van Educes Humdinger’s view, it has not been completely obscured by the nagging questions. (Ditties, p 145) Ditties goes on to state “The pastoral counselor affirms, above all, that this is God’s world and that the counselor and counseled are both in God’s care. ” This does not contradict what van Educes Humdinger has stated it confirms it. That is to say that we re to empty ourselves in order to be fulfilled and to fulfill the work of Christ in the the center of the issue from the very beginning by establishing an open communication line with God through an active prayer life.
Then she moves through the areas involved in self, God and others and then brings us full circle to conclude with prayer. This is more in keeping with my faith life and work in ministry. This however does not diminish Ditties book at all. Ditties chose to take a more human approach first, to allow us to view ourselves in our own human condition, so e could relate to others on a deeper level, but reminding us subtlety that God’s involvement is needed at all levels of ministry. Ditties concludes his book with a bold reminder that God is the world and we are merely his servant to God and one another. When looking at Ditties book Pastoral Counseling the Basics, and comparing the significance that the “four Levels or Facets of Human Development have on the book as a whole, I began by looking at the four facets individually. While listing these levels or facets initially as Context, to Self-Regard, to Traits and Habits, to Coping and injunction, Ditties begins the break down for the levels or facets in reverse order. This order is a very effective way of presenting this information so as not to go to the first step and think we have accomplished the levels entirely.
The first level that is addressed is Coping and Functioning. This level as Ditties explains is a realm of everyday behavior in which I count my successes and failures. This level is the driving force in our lives. It encompasses how we handle all of the everyday events of our lives. We can either approach these as successes or failure, adversaries or allies. We as counselor and counseled may consider the list of successes and failures as Just the problem. Ditties warns us, that while offering advice on such practical matters may be extremely useful. UT this is not the realm of pastoral counseling. (Ditties pop, 30) This level is not Just for the counseled, but also for the counselor as well. If we are to provide pastoral counseling, we must first have an understanding of how we handle the areas in our own life within the level of Coping and Functioning first, before we can attempt to work with the counseled. I believe that Ditties uses this level to teach us that we cannot cope and function in the realm of everyday life without the involvement of God and others.
We must first look inwardly at ourselves and then seek God for upwardly involvement, before we can attempt to look outwardly to others to counsel and be counseled. (Ditties 153) I believe van Educes Humdinger would agree that this level is an integral part of our development, but this would not be the initial step. In Praying without Ceasing, van Educes Humdinger points out that the vertical dimension, that relationship with God through our active pray life with God must be established and maintained in order for us to be able to converse and interact with others. Van Educes Humdinger UP, 79) The second level that Ditties address is Traits and Habits-personal characteristics. The traits and talents are those things that evolve into habits, both good and bad, productive and destructive that makes up the character of who we are. These traits and talents are not machinery, but are organically grown out of our interaction with 5 It is important to know these traits, talents or habits that make up who we are, so that e can be an effective counselor and to know the make-up of who we are counseling.
By understanding these traits, talents and habits of ourselves and others we can use this information to establish how we deal with governing the first level of coping and functioning. By having these two levels working in and through our lives we can find the common ground with others from which to can work together. (Ditties, p 31) I believe this is also an underlying theme throughout Ditties book, because knowing the traits, talents and habits of ourselves and others, is one of the essential elements of he experience for the counseling for the counseled, as in regarding the “As Is and As Though”.
This gives the counselor and counseled a level playing field from which to know each other more deeply, so that both can learn to trust, not Judge and begin to develop fellowship, relationship and community. (Ditties, p 81) I believe the van Educes Humdinger would agree with Ditties, that knowing the Traits, Talents and habits of ourselves and others is an essential element for Listening to ourselves, listening to others and Listening to God. I believe that this too is a building block community and spiritual formation with others.
The third level that Ditties describes for us is the level of Self-Regard. The way we regard ourselves is a strong indicator of what kind of personality we possess. The way we were brought up and the environment in which we lived or live can signal how we perceive ourselves and also how we perceive others. Self-Regard is the combination of the other two levels of Coping and Functioning as well as Traits and Habits. (Ditties pop) Taking into consideration how we cope and function with our own traits and habits, we get an image of how we regard ourselves and how we will regard other.
This action could be both good and bad. This level also opens the door to offer grace and to receive it as well. If we are willing to receive and offer grace to one another, we once again open the door to fellowship and community. (Ditties pop) I believe the van Educes Humdinger would agree with this level as well, because our self-image and how we regard who we are can lead us to knowing ourselves, other and God at a much deep and open level of understanding. This engages our prayer life into a continuous circle of prayers to God, for others and for ourselves.
This action strengthens the nods of fellowship and community, which is the basis of pastoral care. (van Educes Humdinger IPPP) 6 The fourth and final level is Context. Ditties’ comment that “We all live evicted from the Garden which was created Just for us… , The self can survive and thrive only when it can trust and outside the garden, trust is Jaded”. (Ditties pop, 35) When we come to the realization know who’s we are, who we are, where we come from and what we are made up of, we have Context. This is the starting point from which we can accept ourselves with all our warts and scars and know that we are not fighting this battle
Context lays the ground work to know how we regard ourselves, knowing what our traits and habits are and finally how we can cope and function within ourselves and with others, while allowing Christ to intercede for us and keep God in the center of everything. Ditties and van Educes Humdinger both have given me the frame work from which I can come to an understanding of knowing the make-up of all the levels and elements of who I am as a child of God, knowing fellowship, community, and communion with God through prayer and finally helping others to know themselves and God as well.

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