PhD (Pastoral Studies), North-West University, Potchefstroom CampusChildren aged six to twelve years are experiencing emotional distress as they are affected by upsetting occurrences such as medical procedures, bullying, divorce of parents, death of a pet or grandparent, hijackings, domestic violence and sexual abuse, to name but a few.
As for adults experiencing emotional upsets, counselling these children is a necessity. Though different counselling methods and models are known and available to assist adults, few are freely available to help the emotional wounded children. Even more limited as counselling models, are Pastoral counselling models.
Through an empirical and literature study, the researcher found that often children are left to battle their fears, anxieties and upsets on their own and it is often said that children would outgrow these emotions. Another reason for limited counselling is that pastors feel inadequate to deal with these emotions of children as they are not trained to handle it. Children are emotional beings (as adults are), and methods needed to be established to help them.
The Primary question asked by the researcher, was: How could Pastors be equipped to pastorally counsel emotionally wounded children aged between six and twelve?
The following are addressed in this study:
➢ The primarily courses of emotional upset in children, aged six to twelve years old.
➢ Identified, studied and analysed some of the different counselling and Pastoral counselling methods available.
➢ Formulated an easy to use, counselling model by which children could be helped with their emotional upsets.
➢ With the completion of this study the researcher developed a Pastoral model that could help die counsellor (Pastor/Minister) to support the emotional and spiritual needs of the child in need. Some recommendations were made to Pastors and other counsellors assisting them in counselling children and equip the children with skills that could help them in the future.
Before any conclusions or recommendations could be made, the researcher needed to answer to some other important questions.
➢ What were the main causes of emotional distress in the life of an emotionally wounded child aged between six and twelve years? This question was answered in Osmer’s descriptive empirical task.
➢ What were some of the methods in other disciplines that were being used to debrief trauma and counsel emotionally wounded children? This question was answered in Osmer’s interpretive task.
➢ What pastoral models were being used in counselling the emotionally wounded child, aged between six and twelve? This question was answered in Osmer’s interpretive task.
➢ What were the Biblical perspectives on pastoral counselling to emotionally wounded children? This question was answered in Osmer’s normative task.
➢ How could Pastors be equipped to Pastorally counsel emotionally wounded children (emotionally and spiritually), aged between six and twelve? This question will answer to Osmer’s pragmatic task.Doctora