Princeton Theological Seminary’s Trustees support the psychological, relational, and spiritual formation of seminarians and spouses by resourcing counseling and spiritual direction. They know that many drawn to ministry have experienced significant personal pain and that the effectiveness of a "wounded healer" comes from the integration, wisdom and compassion one has gained.

Ministry involves more than knowledge and skills-- it requires interpersonal capability and emotional and spiritual health. Strengths such as self-knowledge, self-acceptance, personal accountability, internalization of grace, empathy, ability to deal with anger and pain, clear communication, good self-care, the ability to negotiate boundaries, are among the components of confident leadership. While developing these capacities is the work of a lifetime, growth is accelerated in the structure and safety of counseling, spiritual direction, life coaching and support groups.

Counseling is a way of mining for grace in the sand of one's life. As distress, confusion and longing are named, heard and sifted through, new possibilities for change, wholeness, and joy emerge. Beliefs and habits can be addressed and changed.


Common Counseling Issues

Students and spouses often address a wide range of issues in counseling. These include:
Stress, depression, anxiety, family of origin issues, low self-esteem, boundary-setting, academic and vocational concerns, health challenges, dating, perfectionism, procrastination, premarital counseling, marital issues, parenting challenges, eating disorders, sexuality, sexual orientation, faith issues, grief and loss, sexual abuse, trauma, and compulsive behaviors.


Confidentiality and Informed Consent 
Information discussed in counseling is confidential and can only be shared with explicit, written permission from the client. However, in certain extreme instances, confidentiality becomes secondary to a concern for life. In the rare event that injury to self or to others is an imminent danger, a breach of confidentiality is required to take the appropriate steps to insure the safety of the individual and the community.

 

 The Counseling Relationship

A good “fit” between the client and the counselor or spiritual director is necessary.  If you are having trouble opening up or if you do not feel their approach is compatible, please don’t give up.  Try to talk with them about what might make it work better for you or consult with the Director of Student Counseling about a new referral.