Below are some examples of possible indications that the
individual's needs/issues exceed the realm of Pastoral Visitation. if any of
the following were observed, the pastoral should seek immediate consultation
with a professional psychotherapist as to necessary action.
Difficulty maintaining focus on spiritual issues - the visitation continually
digresses to issues of mental health/emotional nature, relationship problems,
addictions, past abuse, etc.
Inappropriate level of interest in the pastor - the person seeking help asks
questions of a personal nature which could include romantic, relationships,
sex, interests, past experiences, abuse survivor, etc.
Dissociative episodes - the person seeking help states they cannot remember the
last couple minutes of conversation, becomes overwhelmed emotionally and
"check out" temporarily, vivid flashbacks of past abuse, etc.
Idealization of the pastor - the person seeking help deems the pastor only
person capable of healing and helping him/her, seeks an increase in frequency
or duration of sessions, brings counselor gifts/cards, writes pastor
poetry/songs, requests meetings outside the pastor's office or inappropriate
hours, calls frequently outside of scheduled counseling times, resistant to
termination of pastoral visits and resistant to counseling referral.