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What is Congregational Counseling?

Just as families sometimes need a counselor, so do congregations.

A counselor is a trained professional from outside the congregation who guides leaders and members of a congregational community in gaining fresh perspectives and getting unstuck from difficult problems through the use of visual diagramming tools and group facilitation techniques.

A congregational counselor focuses on the ways in which people in the congregation relate to each other and uncovers patterns which may have carried over through generations. Counseling can benefit congregations experiencing:

  • Transition in leadership
  • Serious conflict between groups or leaders
  • Trauma in past or present (ex. sexual abuse by leader, sudden death of a pastor, tragedy in congregation)
  • Strong negative energy

Or congregations

  • Preparing for new challenges

Goals are set in conversation between the counselor and the leaders of the congregation, and can include:

  • Learning to handle a particular conflict situation in a productive and healing manner
  • Helping leaders and congregants to recognize emotional systems patterns and to reflect on their individual roles in the continuation of the patterns
  • Identifying which patterns are constructive, which destructive
  • Changing destructive patterns
  • Continuing and expanding on constructive patterns
  • Formulating an action plan that includes concrete steps to address emotional process and leads to making the defined congregational goals a reality

Rev. Dr. Lynn Acquafondata uses group and individual counseling and consulting techniques to help congregations identify and reflect on the patterns of interaction and emotional responses between people, and to move forward in healthier ways. Read how this process has helped others. 

Rev. Dr. Lynn Acquafondata can work with an entire congregation or provide counseling services to an individual from a congregation, for example a lay leader or clergy person.

No single individual is responsible for how a system functions as a whole. However, individuals can affect the workings of a congregation in constructive ways by learning to see and understand relational patterns, and by intentionally changing their own functioning within the system.

The Congogram Counseling Process is an innovative new process designed to help a congregation deal with difficult problems and move into a vibrant and healthy future. The counselor works with groups and individuals from the congregation over a four to six month period.

The process includes a detailed set of Congogram diagrams specific to your congregation, a detailed written analysis of your congregation and an action planning process.

You can get started right now by visiting the Congregational Counseling and the Congogram Process page for more information on pricing and availability. Or call Rev. Lynn now at the Pastoral Counseling and Family Therapy Group.

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