Counseling and Guidance

Pastoral Counseling and Guidance Ministry
Director Rev. Dr. Sandy West, LMFT

The Positive Living Center offers pastoral counseling and guidance for members who are having difficulties and problems in life. These could include anxiety over money or career problems; relationship concerns; major life passage issues, such as divorce or the death of a loved one; or any other traumatic situation or behavior affecting their daily lives.

Benefits of Pastoral Counseling: Often, on our own, we get stuck in ineffective solutions that don't work for us. In addition, certain events, people or things trigger emotional reactions that cause us to act inappropriately or in opposition to our greater good. We know we want change — but we just don't know how to go about it. Sometimes too, we just need someone to hear us out. The pastoral counselor can help with each of these concerns.

How We Can Help: The PLC pastoral counseling ministers are trained (or are in training as interns) to assist people in developing the attitudes and behaviors that will promote their happiness and well-being. They can help their clients uncover behaviors and beliefs that are no longer effective and may suggest relaxation methods, prayer treatment, and other proactive techniques designed to help individuals help themselves.

Training: Besides their ministerial degree courses, the pastoral counseling ministers have had courses in interviewing, psychological disorders, substance abuse, and emotive, cognitive and behavioral therapies, along with other appropriate courses and a long internship in the practice of pastoral counseling through the Emerson Theological Institute.

Disclaimers: All counseling is confidential. Pastoral counseling, however, is NOT psychological counseling. It has a definite spiritual basis to it — to help you change your thinking and thus assist you to change your life to one of love, harmony, peace, joy and prosperity.

Referrals: If deemed necessary and appropriate, the minister will make referrals to substance abuse centers or to qualified, licensed therapists and counselors for major psychological problems and disorders. Rev. Dr. Sandy West, LMFT, a licensed Marriage Family Therapist is available for appointments. She may be contacted at 559-246-2132 or at info@plcoakhurst.org.

Fees: Counseling with interns is free and assists the interns in developing the necessary in-practice skills for their degree. Individuals who have completed their coursework and internship as pastoral counselors charge for their services on a sliding scale or as they desire.

Availability: If you are currently requiring some help with difficulties, you are encouraged to contact the spiritual counselor via email or call the PLC office at 559-642-4616 for referral.

Pastoral Counselor: Ministerial Staff