At some point in our lives, many of us will need the support of a mental health professional. As priests and presvyteres, we encounter some unique challenges in our personal, marriage and family life. Sometimes the support of a spiritual father and/or mother is sufficient in helping us to navigate these challenges; at other times we may need the expertise of a mental health professional to complement the support we receive in the life of the Church.
As you will see below, there are many support networks for therapeutic services with extensive lists of practitioners and useful information about various mental health issues.
Despite the plethora of mental health practitioners, it can be a challenge to find a competent therapist, especially one who will honor, understand, and respect the importance of Orthodox Christian faith in the therapeutic process. The list below may be of help. More importantly, however, is word-of-mouth, so if you need mental health support services, another way to begin is to ask trusted colleagues, peers, fellow priests and friends for a referral.
Confidential Assistance Program (CAP)
A Program of the Archdiocese Benefits Committee - 866-641-0791
Aetna Resources for Living offers confidential services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The website offer many services and resources. The Archdiocese Benefits Committee (ABC) wants to provide a full-service benefit that you and your family can easily access whenever you need it.
- Most of us have to face change, stress, or a life-altering problem now and then.
- You may call the Confidential Assistance Program for any number of reasons:
- You've been feeling blue lately, and you can't seem to shake it.
- You are constantly having conflicts with your teenager.
- Stress is becoming a distraction.
The Confidential Assistance Program is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, just by calling 1-866-641-0791. The Confidential Assistance Program toll-free line is answered by counseling professionals who can assist you with a personal dilemma and can guide you to in-person care with an expert in your area. The Confidential Assistance Program is strictly confidential, as mandated by law.
The username and password are "CAP".
Other referral networks for counseling and therapeutic services:
- American Association of Pastoral Counselors--http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/benefits/folder.2010-11-19.8826025421/CAP%20Brochure.pdf
- This is an organization of licensed pastoral counselors.
- Marriage-Friendly therapists--http://www.marriagefriendlytherapists.com
- This organization represents seasoned therapists who are committed to the preservation of marriage in the therapeutic relationship.
- American Association of Marriage and Family--http://www.aamft.org
- This is an organization of licensed marriage and family therapists.
- American Psychiatric Association-- http://psychiatry.org
- American Psychological Association-- http://www.apa.org
- National Alliance on Mental Health Illness (NAMI)-- http://www.nami.org
- The Association for Addiction Professionals-- http://www.naadac.org
Referrals more specific to clergy, clergy couples/families:
- The Pastoral Institute, Columbus, GA--
- This Institute has a residence program especially for clergy and/or clergy couples in need of therapeutic services, with an Orthodox counselor on staff.
- The Danielsen Institute, Boston, MA-- http://www.bu.edu/danielsen/clinic/clergy/
- This Institute has services specifically for clergy and their families, and its director is Orthodox.
- Samaritan Institute— http://www.samaritaninstitute.org
- This is a network of counseling providers throughout the U.S. who “emphasize the interrelatedness of mind, body, spirit, and community.” They are intentional about respecting the religious perspectives of their clients and incorporating them into the therapeutic process.