Organized in 1963 to ensure standards for the practice of pastoral counseling, the American Association of Pastoral Counselors is an international, interfaith organization of professional pastoral counselors, parish clergy and other mental health professionals. We seek to advance understanding of the mind-spirit connection. AAPC members are at the forefront of practicing the interface between spirituality and emotional well-being. For more information about the mission and goals, Bylaws, publications and articles or referral to a counselor in the AAPC, please go to: AAPC.org
What is Pastoral Counseling?
Pastoral counseling is a unique form of counseling that uses spiritual resources as well as psychological understanding for healing and growth. It is provided by individuals who are not only mental health professionals but persons who have had in-depth religious and/or theological training. Most pastoral counselors are ordained clergy or persons otherwise endorsed by a religious faith group.
At the local level, AAPC members can be found in many work settings, including pastoral counseling centers, hospitals, community mental health centers, churches and synagogues. Drawing on faith and religious resources, AAPC members assist persons who are struggling with depression, grief, marital and family conflict, substance abuse and other issues. They also work with persons who are seeking a more meaningful and fuller life experience.
As interest has grown in spirituality in recent years, our members have expanded their services beyond counseling and treatment for mental disorders to include wellness programs, spiritual direction, consultation to corporations, consultation to congregations and community education.
As we seek to serve the public good, the Association has established rigorous standards for the practice of pastoral counseling, including education and clinical supervision as well as certification and accreditation. Our members adhere to a Code of Ethics to ensure the delivery of high-quality counseling, psychotherapy and other related services.
If you are looking for a counselor, select a webpage above to contact a local certified pastoral counselor or general membership counselor. To find a pastoral counselor in another geographical region, please search by name or location the National AAPC Referral Directory at www.aapc.org/civicrm/profile. To simply read more about pastoral counseling, click on the following brochure: What is Pastoral Counseling?.
If you are interested in reading about pastoral counseling, check out: Sacred Spaces: The E-Journal of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors
AAPC Eastern/Northeast Regional 2017 Fall Conference:
FRIDAY - SUNDAY NOVEMBER 3 - 5, 2017
Wisdom House Conference Center
229 East Litchfield Road, Litchfield, CT 06759 - 3002
Phone: 860-567-3163 E-mail:
Breathing is a wonderfully apt metaphor for a balanced life. The words breath and spirit are practically
synonyms in many languages. We breathe in what we must have and breathe out what is no longer needed.
Without space to breathe, we run the risk of becoming spiritually undernourished while increasing our load of
anxiety. Counselors, pastors, and others who offer care, as well as those who receive these ministrations need
breathing space and balance.
This conference, drawing from the rich talents and perspectives of members of the Northeastern and Eastern
Regions of AAPC, will help us create the space to breathe so we can maintain our balance.
Wayne Gustafson will help us determine what we need as unique individuals for our breathing space. Pamela
Pater-Ennis will explore the dangers to and possibilities for spiritual balance through boundary awareness.
Doug Ronsheim will help us think about integrating personal resilience and healthy connections for our
improved spacious balance. Finally, Joann Heaney-Hunter will help us explore the wide variety of practices
that can enhance our spiritual and professional health including the Arts and movement.
Following each plenary session, small groups will be led by even more of our members, providing opportunities
for grounded learning. Groups will address topics like: Deeper conversations with the plenary speakers,
theological reflection on case studies, pastoral care group consultation, the function of music in spiritual
nurture, spiritual nurture using arts and movement, and others. Several of the groups will be offered more
than once during the conference making participant choices more flexible.
Music, meditation, a variety of social and worship experiences, and of course regional business meetings will
fill out what promises to be a meaningful and useful conference.
About Pastoral Counseling