MORE than thirty participants comprising clergy from the Diocese of Central Melanesia and Diocese of Guadalcanal, including those serving at the ACoM Provincial Head Office, representatives from the Mothers Union office, staff of the Christian Care Centre, Diocesan Mothers Union office and representatives from the four religious orders are currently in a two week Pastoral Counseling Training being held at the Melanesia Leaf Haus at the Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral.
The training that begins on Monday 4th June is facilitated by a team from the Pacific Theological College (PTC) Institutre of Mission and Research from Suva Fiji led by Ms. VositaLenisaurua, Ms. Rusila Nabouniu, and Mr. Michael Kafonika
The objectives of the workshop training are: To Develop greater self-awareness as pastoral care givers and counselors; to understand the positions and preparations of clients (those seeking assistance); to learn and understand micro – skills and narratives Therapy in your practice and design and present templates for monitoring, report and self-care plan.
In his opening and welcome remarks, the General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) Dr. Abraham Hauriasi emphasized the importance of Church workers equipping themselves with the necessary skills and knowledge to reach out to the ever increasing members of our communities who are both physically and psychologically hurting, troubled, sad, lonely and confused. We see evidence of these people every day on our streets, offices, homes, and even the pews of our Churches.
“The training will also equip and further strengthen the current work of the participants as counselors in their respective areas and communities and be able to handle whatever need the people will come with,” he goes on to say. In many cases, all these people need is a listening and understanding ear and to point them to where they can get appropriate help.
In a handout shared to the participants, Pastoral Counseling is a more specialized form of helping role where the counselor has acquired specific skills through training. A counselor provides a systematic process that guides individuals and groups to share their issues and to explore their situation to find new and effective ways of taking control of their situations. Those who seek help from a counselor become empowered through the counseling process and find new directions to achieve positive change.
Group discussions, presentations, and sharing are part of the training process.
The training ended on Friday 15th.