Just as families sometimes need a counselor, so do congre- gations. A congregational counselor is a trained professional from outside the specific church or congregation who guides leaders and members in gaining fresh perspectives and getting unstuck from difficult problems through the use of visual diagramming tools and group facilitation techniques.
A congregational counselor focuses on the ways in which people in the congregation relate to each other and uncovers patterns which may have carried over through generations.Counseling can benefit congregations experiencing:
- Transition in leadership
- Serious conflict between groups or leaders
- Trauma in past or present (ex. sexual abuse by leader, sudden death of a pastor, tragedy in congregation)
- Strong negative energy
- Preparing for new challenges
Goals are set in conversation between the counselor and the leaders of the church or congregation, and can include:
- Learning to handle a particular conflict situation in a productive and healing manner
- Helping leaders and congregants to recognize emotional systems patterns and to reflect on their individual roles in the continuation of the patterns
- Identifying which patterns are constructive, which destructive
- Changing destructive patterns
- Continuing and expanding on constructive patterns
- Formulating an action plan that includes concrete steps to address emotional process and leads to making the defined congregational goals a reality
Rev. Dr. Lynn Acquafondata uses group and individual counseling and consulting techniques to help congregations identify and reflect on the patterns of interaction and emotional responses between people, and to move forward in healthier ways.
Rev. Dr. Lynn Acquafondata can work with an entire congregation or provide counseling services to an individual from a congregation, for example a lay leader or clergy person.
No single individual is responsible for how a system functions as a whole. However, individuals can affect the workings of a congregation in constructive ways by learning to see and understand relational patterns, and by intentionally changing their own functioning within the system.
The Congogram Counseling Process is an innovative new process designed to help a congregation deal with difficult problems and move into a vibrant and healthy future. The counselor works with groups and individuals from the congregation over a six to eight month period.
The process includes a detailed set of Congogram diagrams specific to your congregation, a detailed written analysis of your congregation and an action planning process. Goals are set and an action plan formed.
For a detailed explanation of the Congogram and Congogram Process see the recording of our recent 45 minute webinar.
You can get started right now by visiting the Viewing the Present Through New Eyes page and the Congregational Counseling and the Congogram Process page for more information on pricing and availability. Or call Rev. Lynn now at the Pastoral Counseling and Family Therapy Group.
The Present Through New Eyes
Congregational Counseling and the Congogram Process