The Two Main Types of Support Programs
I wanted to spend a little time talking about support programs and two specific kinds of support programs, just giving you a little more information about those two. The first type of support program we want to talk about is support groups.
When we think about support groups, these groups have various aspects. They render support and assistance. Some aspects of the support groups would include financial support groups, emotional support groups, practical support groups, and these support groups often extend beyond the person looking for the support group, beyond the patient to family members, caregivers, healthcare providers, all that would be involved in the patient’s care.
When we think about support programs, support groups are very important. We need to remember that they cover a wide variety of topics and issues from financial to emotional to practical, and they often extend beyond the patient to the family, caregivers, and health care providers involved in the patient’s care. The second form of support programs we want to talk about is pastoral counseling.
When we think about pastoral counseling the pastoral counselor actually has to go through very extensive training in order to take on this role as a support to the person in need of it. Extensive training that combines both learning and psychology, as well as theology. They aid, then, these two things working together psychology and theology, in the care and support of the patient.
A degree in pastoral counseling usually requires, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree, a three-year professional degree from a seminary, a master’s level degree essentially, and then beyond that a doctoral degree or a master’s degree in a mental health field. You’ve got the undergraduate degree, a three-year seminary master’s degree, and then a master’s to a doctorate level in the mental health field.
It takes a great deal of training to be fully qualified for this particular one, but it can provide support in the cases of certain patients who desire that or need that. When we think about support programs, remember these two items: Support groups covering a wide variety of needs (financial, emotional, practical). Those groups go beyond just the patient, involving the family, perhaps, caregivers, other health care providers that are assisting the patient.
Then, the other kind of support program, and obviously it’s not just limited to these two, but the other one we’ve talked about today would be pastoral counseling. In this case, the person who provides us counseling has been extensively trained in both psychology and theology with a great deal of education both in the seminary arena and in the mental health arena.