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By Gwyneth Cathyl-Harrow

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The Counseling Workshop, and these notes, are intended for use by initiated Witches, or those who studying towards initiation and who are working with the guidance of an Elder. They are not intended to substitute for appropriate training in pastoral counseling, whether through formal academic studies or apprenticeship.

It takes more than a weekend to learn to be a counselor; but even in the short time available, we can work on acquiring some of the counseling 'survival skills' needed by a working Priest/ess. Nevertheless, we should bear in mind our limits: we cannot help everyone who comes to us. Some people need help from psychologists, surgeons or other clinicians -- pastoral counseling is for them at best an adjunct to the help they really need, and at worst it may do them harm.

Opinions expressed within these notes are solely those of the authors, and must not be construed as being the opinions, practices or precepts of any Tradition or organisation. We do not seek to identify the religious affiliation of any of the authors, other than to note that they belong to various faith groups. May these words and the manner of their sharing bring good to many and harm to none.

We will conduct our workshop in sacred space. In keeping with the customary practices of our Craft, we teach within a Circle properly cast, so that we may speak appropriately and in an atmosphere of safety and trust. As Priests and Priestesses of the Old Religion, we gather together to share our knowledge, with the understanding that personal confidences shared in Circle should be duly respected: we may find ourselves discussing situations or experiences that were or are of deep personal significance to ourselves or others, we should be mindful of the potential for harm should our discussions continue beyond the bounds of the Circle.

The Counseling Workshop was first taught as a series of five weekly classes and as single-day and two-day intensive workshops by Judy and Marjorie, and as a series of two-day retreats by Judy and/or Gwyneth. The Counseling Workshop continues to evolve -- we invite you to let us know what we could do to improve it.

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Homepage/Counseling Index/Critical Dimensions of Counseling

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Last updated June 26, 1998