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Sharon Road/SouthPark
5203 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC 28210
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Park Road/Myers Park
3200 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28209
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(704) 554-9900

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Clergy & Church Communities

Clergy & Church Communities

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.

church

Sources of Trauma

Clergy

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.

Clergy Family Members
  • May resent playing second fiddle to the church
  • Feel pressured to meet congregational expectations about their roles
  • Worry about their clergyperson’s health and lack of free time
Clergy Family Members
  • May also experience burn-out
  • Have concerns about job security as funds decrease
Stephen Ministers
  • Tread the very stressful line between support and counseling
  • May be stressed about perceived safety or alcohol/substance issues in people or families they are seeing
Congregants and Congregational Dynamics
  • Congregational dynamics can be messy and cause splits and rifts within a church community
  • Transitions, including a resigning clergyperson, taking on an interim pastor, bringing on a new pastor, all can generate uncertainty, anxiety, and anger within a congregation

Our Services

Programs for Clergy, Church Staff and Stephen Ministers
  • Sex is not the only boundary
  • What do you want from me now? Preventing and healing burn-out
  • When and how to refer to a mental health professional
  • When you suspect alcohol or substance abuse might be a problem
  • When you suspect child abuse or domestic violence
  • When you have safety concern about another person
  • Physical pain and its effect on mental health
Programs for Congregations
  • Sex is not the only boundary
  • Minding the mind through mindfulness
  • When you are caring for kids and aging parents
  • A phase or does my child need help?
  • Becoming a savvy tech and social media parent
  • Bullying and cyberbullying: the bully, the bullied, and the bystander
  • Sex, Drink and Drugs: parenting teens in the 21st century

Meet your Clergy & Church
Communities Team

Daniel Miles, M.Div., MA, LCHMC-A
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate