PASTORAL COUNSELLING: MEANING, FEATURES, APPROACHES, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS IN THE LESS DEVELOPED by AKAROWHE Brief History of Pastoral Counselling in the Less Developed CountriesPastoral Counselling in the less developed countries of the world can be traced back to the early days of colonization, in which the developed countries (Western Block/Government) super-impose their way of life on the less developed countries of the world. The develop countries ways of life as super-imposed on the less developed countries does not only entails mode of dressing, educational style, and mode of greeting but also their Christ centric mode of worship, hence eroding the traditional mode of worship (idol as the case may be) in the less developed countries. The process of eroding the traditional mode of worship was speared by the early Christian missionaries.Early Christian missionaries of different church(s) of the developed countries were financed from their home church(s) for the set purpose of propagating the gospel of Christ through soul winning. In the cause of propagating the gospel through wining the soul of citizen in the less developed countries for Christ by the missionaries, there was need to build a local place of worship. Furthermore, the local place of worship that were built (church) by these Christian missionaries were headed by Reverend Fathers, pastors, minister and assist mostly by teacher as the case may be. Peoples in the less developed world, when converted to the church, they often deliberately stop traditional mode of worship and try to remodel their life after Christ. The convert(s) overtime may experience problems/challenges along the time path of life, in which they tend to visit the Reverend Fathers, pastors and ministers in order to receive solution insight to their challenges.Reverend Fathers, pastors, minister, and teachers were predisposed to often advice, guide and direct the converts of their church who were facing such problems/challenges in light of the gospel of Christ. This scenario marks the beginning of pastoral counselling in the less developed countries of the world. After the period of colonization, there was a remodeling or revolution in the administrative strives of the work of the Reverend fathers, pastors and minister this lead what we have now as pastoral counselling in modern day society in the less developed world. Meaning of CounsellingCounselling is an applied branch of psychology in which a counsellor helps a client in making meaning positive adjustment to a given issue faced by the client. This is usually done through advising the client on a particular problem he/she face by the counsellor. In other words, counselling is an applied subset of psychology that assists an individual (counsellee) in coherent living in the society through self-actualization, self-discovering, self-orientation and meaningful adjustment in life. Counselling is a helping profession in which a person (counsellor) helps another person (client) with the aim of providing solution insight to a given issue facing the client through advice.Counselling is a relationship based approach of advising a client by a counsellor. In other words, it is an absolute relationship between a superior authority (counsellor) and an inferior authority (clients), in which the client is expect to pay absolute loyalty to the superior authority through yielding to his/her advise in order to solve some emotional, marital, and other problem that often arose in the clients’ life. Counselling is a helping relationship in which the counsellor assists the client(s) to better understand themselves and the world around them. Counselling is concerned with the feelings, attitudes and emotional dispositions of an individual about himself and situations facing him. In light of the above, the research wish to opine that counselling as a helping relationship, is confidential and voluntary. It also eludes the point that counselling is not advice giving but rather an exploration of the issue of difficulty.Meaning of Pastoral CounsellingPastoral counselling is a branch of counselling which seeks to adopt biblical approaches in proffering possible solution to the problems of the congregation of the particular church, by the pastor (counsellor). In light of this, pastoral counselling can be seen as a process, act, and way of remedying the predetermined problems of member of the church (clients) by the pastor counsellor, through the pastor counsellor granting of meaningful advices and solution insights based on biblical perspective, in order for the members to be enhanced in their self-adjustment, self-actualization, and self-realization in the immediate society (Church and home) and the larger society (community/nation).Pastoral counselling is a relationship based affair between a pastor (counsellor) and a client (convert), with the aim of unmasking undesirable happens in the life of the client. It can also be seen, as an applied facet of counselling which is expected to equipped a member(s) of any church to portray the life of Christ in the process of providing a way to surmount certain issues of life with the help of a counsellor (pastor). Pastoral counselling is an unending relationship between a pastor and member(s) of society or his congregation. Types of Pastoral CounsellingPastoral counselling can be classified into two main types namely; individual and group pastoral counselling.1)Individualized/one-on-one Pastoral Counselling: As the name implies it involves the pastoral counsellor and a client. Individual pastoral counselling involves a one-on-one contact by a church member (client) with a pastor (counsellor), in which the pastor is predispose to proffer solution insight in view to the client problem, which may be done through discussion, advice that will in the long-run assist the member in stronger relation with God and meaningful living in the larger society. Individual pastoral counselling involves two persons namely the pastor and the member (client) with heaven in view at the end of the discussion. Also, to a large there is to a great extent high level of confidentiality between the said parties. This is type of pastoral counselling can be done in private meeting between the client and the pastor (counsellor) at a specified place.2)Group Pastoral Counselling: This involve the interaction between more than two persons, in which the superior person (pastor) is expected to brief, elude some issues of life which tends to affect the subordinate parties (members/clients), in order for them to live a happy and peaceful live with eternity in view (heaven). This may be done during counselling hour in the church, crusade, church service, weekly activities or other suitable setting. In group pastoral counselling there is always need for the pastoral counsellor to make reference to the bible by deliberately and purposefully asking the clients to open the bible. Features of Pastoral CounsellingPastoral counselling has the following features or characteristics in the modern day society;1.It is based on Faith: This implies that pastoral counselling is based on ability of a client to have faith on what the pastoral counsellor say during the counselling period. Faith here is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen (Hebrew 11:1). This also enunciates the fact that clients are expected to have faith against all hope, on what the pastoral counsellor says.2.It is based on Believe: In pastoral counselling, the counsellee are expected to believe what the counsellor (pastor) say to him/her in order to adjust meaning in the larger society. This pinpoints the fact that, without believing it is impossible for one to benefit positively from pastoral counselling programme.3.It is orthodox in origin: Pastoral counselling is based on the western way of life which is hinged on the church practices. In light of this clients have to be committed with the House of God (Church) in terms of getting involved in most church programme, occupying a position in the church, cleaning the church among others. 4.It is biblical in nature: This implies that pastoral counselling is Christ-centered, given the fact that the holy bible is operational here; and that the pastor (counsellor) is on aprior predispose to give counselling in line with Christ way of life. This point out to the fact that clients are always expected in growing spiritually through studying the word of God (Bible). This will assist in remodeling believer especially in the house hold of faith to live their life in line with the biblical injections.Approaches Adopted in Pastoral CounsellingApproaches adopted in pastoral counselling are the various techniques that tend to helps the pastoral counsellor in carrying out his counselling job. The approaches include.1.Enquiry approach: This involves a simultaneous questioning by the pastoral counsellor with the aim of obtaining specific/desire result or outcome that would assist in the process of giving the necessary advice to the client. This approach centre on the pastoral counsellor; that is the pastoral counsellor is expected to have an upper hand in the process of enquiring from the client. Additionally, enquiry approach involves discovery the problem which the client may likely what to surface to the pastoral counsellor through interrogation. Such interrogation more often, tends to be guided, unguided or modified depending on the client personality.2.Discussion approach: This involves use of verbal communication between the client and the pastoral counsellor, in which the clients is often the keynote giver. It involves talking over an issue by the client with an objective of enlighten the pastoral counsellor on a particular problem. In this approach the pastoral counsellor acts as a moderator with the aim of proffering solution insight to the client.3.Prophetic approach: A prophetic is a person divinely ordained by God for the purpose of revealing things that are yet to happen. Additionally, a prophet is a person that often reveals future events to an expected audience or a person. Prophetic approach has to do with counselling a client based on prophecy. In this approach the pastoral counsellor may hold the office of a prophet which tends to help him/her in the counselling of the client. This may involves the pastoral counsellor giving advice to a client base on prophecy that the client has received or giving by the pastoral counsellor. This approach to a large extent depends on the yielding attitude of the client in the counselling process.4.Prayer approach: Prayer is a communication with God, with the aim of having a divine help. A prayer is said to be effective if and only if there is a response from the Superior (God). Prayer approach in pastoral counselling involves an intensive prayer to God by the pastoral counsellor and the client for an issue at hand, in which solution is needed. It is a well known fact that at the end of the process of the intensive prayer solution is always giving based on the belief of both the pastoral counsellor and client. This tend to help the pastoral counsellor in exploring the issue of difficulties which the client is facing.5.Knowledge approach: Knowledge is a well established fact which may be based on scientific, human or divine (from God) proves. Knowledge approach involves a revelation (revealed knowledge/divine knowledge) which the pastoral counsellor has gotten which helps him in resolving the problem of the client. In some other cases the knowledge will be based on well known facts (human knowledge), in which the pastoral counsellor may use jointly other approach in remedying the problem of the client. It could be noted also that, revelation (from God) form an integral part of this approach. In other word, the pastoral counsellor tends to speak words of knowledge to the expected client. This approach is often notable in most ministries/churches.6.Crusade approach: This approach involve preaching by the pastoral counsellor with an anticipation of the audience listening to what is spoken by the pastor. In this approach there might not likely be a feed back by the audience (client) in terms of response while in other case there might be a response from the client.Challenges of Pastoral CounsellingIn the less developed countries of the world the challenges of pastoral counselling can be grouped into two;1.Internal Challenges: Internal challenges refer to the challenges induce by a particular church system which is headed by a particular pastor counsellor. In other words, internal challenges are induced by the pastor(s) himself. This may be pastors’ attitude, lifestyle, ethic and so forth, which may impede commitment or desire of member(s) to take advantage of the pastor’s service of counselling them in church. 2.External Challenges: External challenges are caused by factors out the control of the pastor/church which tends to influence, affect the pastors’ counselling goals and objectives in the long-run. Pastoral counselling external challenges are induced by variables such as government policies, globalization, and lack of fund which tends to posse a pitfall in the dispensation of pastoral counselling job.From the forgoing, the challenges of pastoral counselling as grouped into internal and external. The following can be internal or external challenges of pastoral counselling in the less developed countries.1.Lack of Counselling Clinic/Laboratory: Pastoral counselling is constraint with problem of lack of laboratory in which the pastor counsellor could use to remedy the problems of the member of his congregation. Counselling laboratory aid effective and efficient function of pastoral counsellor, which my make them to adopt examining of their client rather than using indoctrination or biblical approaches as the case may be. Due to lack of clinic/laboratory most trained pastor who counsellor their client often experience dissatisfaction in their work. 2.Limited in Scope: Pastoral counselling is tends to be limited in scope given the fact that, it is based on biblical sections- that is Christ-centered. This may limit the pastoral counsellors’ knowledge to a certain limit and give no room for them to be not willing to make inquiry into other area, which will to help to remedy the long standing problems of the congregants (clients). Additionally, most pastor counsellor often find it difficult to develop themselves, by take proactive measures in studying, researching, and convert desirable skills/expertise from their fellow counsellors in the ministry.3.Erode Traditional Believes: In most society today, be it developed, developing or less developed, the place of traditional believes system cannot be eroded from a person to a large extent. In the less developed countries of the world pastoral counselling often involves dampen of traditional believes, principles and dogmatic. This over the years has often makes most client(s) to have a double-mind concerning most traditional ways of life. 4.Clients not willing to seek the counsell for personal problem: It is mostly believed that, most clients (member) do not what to seek the assistance of the pastoral counsellor, due to the fact that, clients tend to be of the opinion that when they seek pastoral counsell at the end of the day their problems will be surfaced by the counsellor (pastor) in the larger church during church ministration, hence making them a public point of reference. Overtime this has hindered the far reaching positive effective of pastoral counselling in the church and society at large, through a drop in number of clients who often seek pastoral counsell.5.Lack of Computer for data storage: A computer is an electronic device that assists counsellors in recording, storing, sorting of information and retrieving of same information as at when needed for set purposes. In Pastoral counselling in the less developed countries is faced with the challenge of no storage devices for most of its data and information obtained from the counsellee (client). This often tends to make pastoral counselling frustrating in the sense that information lags may render the counselling process ineffective and inefficient.6.Lack of group counselling: Group counselling is a medium in which more than two clients are exposed to solution insight in problem facing them. Pastoral counselling is often believed to a large extent lack group counselling dues to confidentiality and privacy of the counsellee (members) which the counsellor (pastor) wishes to preserve. Most time, this makes clients to be a bit deject after having a meeting with their counsellors, this may be due to the fact that they tends to be of the view that such a problem is only peculiar to them, which is often not the truth. The enormous benefit of group counselling which clients tend to gain from each other and also from counsellor is lacking in recent times.7.Lack of uniform mode of operation: Uniformity in mode of operation of pastoral counselling is a pivotal to identify a given sets of an establishment code of conduct and disposition in attending to client(s)/member(s). In the less developed countries, pastoral counselling is faced with nor uniformity in ways and methods that is expected of a pastoral counselling to carry out their counselling outfit in the church on an expected client. Due to lack of uniform mode in operation of pastoral counsellor, a particular pastor counsellor may adopt a particular approach of counselling which might not be line with larger groups (other pastoral counsellors). This in the long-run tends to raise conflict among clients and pastoral counsellors.8.Lack of for information communication technology facilities: The role of information communication technology can be overemphasized in the present dispensation. Information communication technology is a compound term for information channeling medium. In other words, it bridge communication gaps between individuals in the larger society. Pastoral counselling does not always give room for online counselling in the less developed countries of the world between the client and the pastoral counsellor. This often impede, the information channeling process and quick response of the counsellor to the client as at when needed. Additionally, this has widened the communication gaps between pastoral counsellors and their clients in the society.9.It erode the culture of the people: Pastoral counselling in the less developed countries of the world is observed to erode the people (client) cultural beliefs, norms, and tenets by most pastoral counsellors during counselling through a deliberate use of the biblical doctrines which has no part in the peoples (clients) way of life (worship of idols, attending festivals, making sacrifices).Prospect of Pastoral CounsellingIn the modern societal setting in the less developed countries of the world, the possibilities of pastoral counselling been successful, depends on.1.Integration: Integration simply entails the ability of pastoral counsellors to ensure that their clients properly adjust to societal norms and tradition. This is done through pastoral counsellors taking into consideration the culture and tradition of the clients in the counselling process. The cultural and tradition indices in which pastoral counsellor should considers include mode of dressing, greeting, indigenous language and local delicacies. This will NILArticle Source: eArticlesOnline.com

E-Learning: The Pros and Cons

by

Clint Bishop

The field of teaching has become revolutionized with the concept of E-learning. What is E-learning? E-learning, (which is also known as electronic learning), is when computers are used to assist in the learning process. The concept can be expressed in a variety of ways including through use of separate software, utilization of the Internet or even simulated ‘virtual’ environments. This article will discuss each of these aspects of E-learning.

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Before the Internet became popular, E-learning was done through special software programs known as ‘edutainment.’ As its namesake would indicate, E-learning through edutainment involved teaching people things while also entertaining them. Popular edutainment titles included Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing and The Miracle Piano System. In its heyday there were edutainment programs that allowed for E-learning through both computers and video game consoles. Today, E-learning through edutainment has died down, though it has been revived a little bit through Leapster. This is a video game system that features edutainment for children in elementary school.

So, if E-learning through edutainment has lost popularity over the years, what is the current venue used for this method of education? The answer is the Internet. With the availability of the Internet, E-learning goes in a direction that edutainment could not. This direction involves interactivity with a professor. In a typical Internet E-learning setup, professors communicate with their students through message boards, chat rooms and e-mail. In fact, Internet E-learning is so effective it is possible to earn a high school diploma or a college degree right from the comfort of your own home. Of course, this is only if you want to take Internet E-learning this far. Internet E-learning can also be used for less intense forms of learning such as tutoring or research for academic papers.

The other form commonly used for E-learning is through interaction with a simulated virtual environment. This involves placing students in a computerized scenario where they have to use both their wits and knowledge of whatever subject they are learning to successfully achieve the simulation. E-learning through simulated virtual environments is commonly done for helicopter or airplane pilots, who may have to fly a ‘plane’ through virtual airspace sometime during the course of their training. It is also used in the military. In terms of individual usage on personal computers, there aren’t too many simulated virtual environments available. And the ones that are would be more in the realm of edutainment, as an ‘official’ simulated virtual environment must have both realistic controls and a 3D environment. Granted, personal computers can produce 3D graphics, but they cannot provide the types of controls that are available with industrial-grade simulated virtual environments.

In conclusion, E-learning can be done through software, the Internet or through simulated virtual environments. Whichever method you choose for your E-learning needs, you will find that the E-learning process in general is much more convenient than traditional classroom teaching. Whether you are learning through edutainment software, chatting with a professor in an online classroom or virtually flying an airplane, with E-learning you can learn at your own pace at your own time. You can even have a little bit of fun in the process. Indeed, no other concept has revolutionized people’s academic experiences as E-learning.

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E-Learning: The Pros and Cons

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