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 Pastoral Counselling III 5572A
Crisis Counselling

Fall 2012

Tuesdays 9:30-11:20 AM
Room 115, St. Peter's Seminary

Instructor:  Josephine Herriott


The purpose of this counselling course is to give you the opportunity to learn about appropriate intervention with persons in crisis. This learning will come from the course instructor, your peers, and from members of the community who have expertise in counselling. It is a privilege and a sacred trust to touch the lives of those whose spirits are wounded. To be a sensitive and compassionate presence to another means understanding their situation and being knowledgeable about one’s own abilities, and woundedness, as well as collaborating with the resources within the local community.

It is hoped that this course will provide you with the opportunity to identify and enhance your own gifts, and to acknowledge and accept your own limitations, so that you will feel comfortable in referring persons in crisis to those who have the ability and experience to help.


September 11 Introduction to the Course
What is a crisis?
Jo Herriott
September 18 Fundamentals of Pastoral Counselling Jo Herriott
September 25 Crisis Case Studies
Role Play
Jo Herriott
October 2 Marital Crisis and Conflict Melissa Page Nichols
October 9 Homosexuality
Book Report due
Jo Herriott
October 16 Domestic Abuse and Violence
- Women's Community House
Bonnie Baker
October 23 Role Play Jo Herriott
October 30 Bereavement Ministry
Pastoral Resources Paper due
Jo Herriott
November 6 Teen Suicide Dr. Tom Bonifero
November 13 Mental Health Trix Van Egmond
November 20 Conflict Resolution Jo Herriott
November 27 Theological Reflection
Strengths and Limitations Paper due
Jo Herriott
December 4 Burn-out, Boundarids
Jo Herriott


An essential of this course is Class Participation.

You will be involved in dialoguing with our guest presenters, and in role-plays.  Each student will be involved in a rotation of turns for acting as the Presenter of prayer at the beginning of class.  The prayer is to be planned with the topic of the class in mind.

A Book Report of 3 pages is due by October 9th, 2012.

The Textbook is "Strategic Pastoral Counselling" by Davis Benner.  ISBN 10: 0-8010-2631-8.

List of Pastoral Resources of the agencies and professionals in your home town.  This paper is due by October 30th, 2012.

A Reflection Paper on "My beliefs, my strengths, and my limitations as a Pastoral Counsellor" is due by November 27th, 2012.  This paper is five pages long.  In your writing, please draw from your experiences in your Pastoral Year and also bring in knowledge that you have gained throughout this course that will help you to be a more effective Pastoral Counsellor.

Theological Reflections:

During the penultimate class of the semester, you will give an oral Theological Reflection, referring to scriptural passages to which your reflection makes association.


The grade for this course will be determined as follows:

Book Report 25%
List of Pastoral Referrals 10%
Reflection Paper 35%
Class participation 20%
Self assessment 10%


Students are responsible for knowing the University's academic policies and regulations and any particularities of their own course of study. These can all be found at the University's website ( Ignorance of these policies is not an excuse for any violation thereof. The following policies are particularly important to note:

Submission of Assignments: It is the responsibility of the student to organize his or her work so that the assignments are completed on time. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment will be deducted for each day it is overdue without permission.

Plagiarism:  Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words.  Whenever students take an idea or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt by quotation marks and/or footnotes.  Plagiarism is a major academic offense; see Scholastic Offence Policy in the Western Academic Calendar.

Plagiarism Checking:

The University of Western Ontario uses software for Plagiarism checking.  Students may be required to submit their written work in electronic form for plagiarism checking.

Selection and Registration of Courses: Students are responsible for ensuring that their selection of courses is appropraite and accurately recorded, that all prerequisite course(s) have been successfully completed, and that they are aware of any anti-requisite course(s) that they have taken.


 1.  Textbook

Stragegic Pastoral Counselling by David Benner
ISBN 10:  0-8010-2631-8

2.  Content of the Book Report

(a)  Your report should be a critical reflection on the subject matter of the book, not simply a summary of the book.
(b)  E.g.  What in particular from this book will help you in your ministry?  Was there anything in the book that you wished you had known about before an event in your family, or in your Pastoral Year.  Make a general reflection on how you view the author's perspective from a Catholic perspective.
(c)  When making a direct reference to the text, please include Page Number.

3.  Length

Your paper should be three pages, typed and double spaced.  Please use a title page to identify the book and author.

4.  Due Date

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012


The Reflection Paper on the theme, "My Beliefs, My Strengths, and My Limitations as a Pastoral Counsellor" will include responses to the following questions:

  1. What are your own beliefs regarding Crisis Counselling in light of your Theological Studies at the Seminary and your Pastoral Experience.  How does the gospel tie in with your work as a Counsellor?
  2. What has been your experience thus far in Counselling?  What did you discover about the work of counselling and what did you discover about yourself?
  3. As you look forward to the prospect of many people coming to you for counselling over the coming years in your parish ministry?  What are some of your anxieties?  What limitations do you recognize in yourself as you prepare for this ministry?
  4. What are the key insights that you gained from this course that will help you in your ministry as Crisis Counsellor?
  5. What are your personal strengths, what is it about yourself that will be most helpful to persons in crisis?

This Reflection Paper will be 5 pages in length.

The paper will be submitted in class on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012.


An effective Pastoral Counsellor will be well acquainted with the resource persons and agencies with the parish area.

This particular assignment is part of your preparation for your ministry in your first parish.

Recall your Pastoral year, and the various needs of the parishioners.

Enquire of other pastors and pastoral ministers as to which resources they turn to.

Make a personal visit to agencies so that you have some first hand knowledge of what is offered at these places.

The Canadian Mental Health Association is an agency which offers many services ranging from individual counselling to family counselling, workshops and support groups.  Pick up some of their brochures and find out what is available.

Some areas, for example have a lot of valuable information.

School Boards offer listings of services to help families.  Respite care for families and personsl with particular needs would be helpful.

The list of resources will be graded and will be used as part of your final mark for the Crisis Counselling Course.

This paper is due on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012.