Emotional Wellness: Holistic Care for God's Workmanship
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The focus of the symposium and this essay are to be deliberately practical and intentionally personal. In my efforts to meet both of these goals, I employed three specific methods. First, a biblical understanding of who we are and whose we are is foundational and fundamental to any discussion on health and wellness. I have sought to build on these truths as they are both practical and personal for us. Second, as a clinical mental health counselor, I have drawn on the literature in my field to offer a practical understanding of holistic wellness and share evidence-based models for cultivating well-being and resilience when providing care to suffering people. Third, as a researcher and counselor educator, I listened to the voices of those serving God’s people to make this an intentionally personal process. Five parish pastors participated in a focus group experience. This involved each participant individually completing the Professional Quality of Life Scale and engaging in a 90 minute semi-structured group interview, where they were invited to reflect on, share, and discuss their experiences of emotional ailment and wellness as a parish pastor. The intention is to weave each of these, a biblical foundation, evidence-based models, and voices from the field, into a meaningful understanding and practice of wellness.