Clergy and their family members, church staff members, and Stephen Ministers may experience the same mental health challenges as anyone else. Church-related stressors however are unique and may exacerbate stress-related symptoms, leading to burn-out, depression, anxiety, and exhaustion. Attempts to cope and to address painful inner states can lead to overusing alcohol or other substances, including food, or irritability, that affects family and the church community.
Church congregations today also need guidance in setting boundary policies that are protective without creating distances that are hurtful to the healing role of clergy and members of the church community.
Presby Psych is uniquely positioned to offer spiritually integrative counseling and programs that also incorporate sound mental health principles. Our philosophy is that everyone we encounter is a body, mind, and spirit who is also influenced by particular cultural traditions, including the role of faith and religion in their lives.
Daniel Miles, M.Div., LCMHCA, an ordained minister with years of chaplaincy experience and a mental health professional, has an “inside” sensitivity to the dynamics of functioning as a clergy person or an active member of a church community.
Are overworked and often feel under-appreciated and under-paid.
Too often neglect exercise, healthy eating, sleep hygiene, or feel guilty taking inviolable personal time off.
May not have friends with whom they feel comfortable opening up about personal, marital, or occupational concerns. They are the listeners and healers, not the heard and healed. Food, alcohol, other substances, or the internet may become coping mechanisms that work for a while, but ultimately make things worse.
May face dwindling congregations and funding and feel they are failing to maintain robust church communities.
Wonder about the role of church in the future.