About AAPC


About AAPC

The American Association of Pastoral Counselors was founded in 1963 as a nonprofit membership organization seeking to further the profession of pastoral counseling.

Pastoral Counseling is a form of psychotherapy which uses spiritual resources as well as psychological theory and psychosystemic understanding to promote healing and growth.

Pastoral Counselors are certified mental health and/or marriage and family therapy professionals who have had in-depth religious and/or theological training. While ordained clergy provide most pastoral counseling, some religious groups authorize non-ordained persons for the ministry of pastoral counseling.

People need and seek counseling when confronted by uncertainties and life experiences that threaten to exhaust their emotional and spiritual resources. Pastoral Counseling is offered on a group, family, couple or individual basis for people experiencing unemployment, stress, loss, conflict or other life transition and crises that can deplete our resources.

Sometimes people come to psychotherapy because they are weary of repeating the same old response patterns that do not work.

Many Pastoral Counselors are also competent to work with persons seeking relief for affective disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Pastoral Counselors will respond to counselee concerns and their life situation in a variety of ways, depending on the nature of the counselor's training.

Our members offer pastoral counseling through individual and group practices, church-related counseling services, and multidisciplinary agencies.


Our region includes members of the association in the United States (Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho) and Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Yukon).



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