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Pastoral counseling is a branch of counseling in which ordained ministers, rabbis, priests and others provide therapy services. Practitioners in the United States are subject to the standards of the American Association of Pastoral Counseling and many are either licensed as a LPC or LMFT as well. Pastoral counseling is different from Christian Counseling which is generally a more conservative, more Bible-centered, less clinical approach to therapy.
American pastoral counselors are required to meet licensing standards, or be under the supervision of someone who does, before psychotherapy to clients. Some states, such as Tennessee, also have additional licensure options available for pastoral counselors. Most pastoral counselors hold secular counseling credentials, as opposed to many Christian Counselors.
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