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Pastoral counseling is an important part of your work as a ULC minister. it is legal in every state for ordained ministers to give religious advise to members of their congregations, but, religious problems are not the only ones encountered. Because so many of our ministers had expressed interest in the field of counseling, the ULC instituted the Soul Clinic concept ten years ago. A Soul Clinic is a center where specially trained and licensed ULC ministers do counseling, that in the broadest sense deal with the problems of the Soul.

S.O.U.L. CLINIC LICENSE--The science of understanding life, SOUL Clinic course, is a course in psychology. This course does not entitle you to be a state certified psychologist; however, it does qualify you as a psychological counselor. This course consists of twelve lessons and two textbooks, obtainable at your local library. A SOUL Clinic License is issued upon completion of the course. This course consists of resources from many fields-Psychology, Metaphysics, Christianity, Eastern and Western religious writings, counseling, guidance and practical information-all relating to the problems of life and how to overcome them. This interesting course is a must for every active minister and is available for a minimum donation of $100.00, $55.00 for Active Congregations.

Health problems that are obviously physical illness or injury should, of course, be referred to a medical doctor. Even those you think might be neurotic symptoms (headaches, allergies, etc.) should not be directly treated in the Soul Clinic. However, you can help a person improve his general health through preventive measures, that may also help with specific ailments. For example, you might teach clients yoga or relaxation techniques, or something about nutrition, since poor diet is a major cause of poor health. Also, since the health of the body reflects the condition of the soul, tell them that help with other problems and tensions will probably also be manifested in better health. Also, in this area we will consider certain kinds of drug problems. Soul Clinics should be aware and prepared to encounter them and to either be able to help or to know where help is available.

Financial problems are of several kinds. First there are those people who are really down and out, who can't pay their bills, don't seem to be able to buy enough food for their families, or at least can't give their children any toys or even small luxuries. Then, there are people who make a decent enough living but don't consider themselves successful be-cause they aren't keeping up with the Jones'; they want a bigger car, bigger house, more gadgets, or whatever. Finally, there are those people who have some kind of a goal or dream like buying a farm, starting a business, opening a school or church, but, don't seem to be able to get the money to get it off the ground. In other words, some people need to learn how to make more money or to spend more wisely, others need to learn how to limit their desires or do more things for themselves, others need to learn the secrets of financial success.

Sexual problems will be the hardest for a person to admit or talk about. From the first description, fighting too much with wife for example, they might appear to be marriage problems, since the two are so closely related. Of course, a person does not have to be married to have sex problems-. We are not here to moralize or give "Dear Abbey" kinds of advice. However, sometimes a casual attitude can cause sex to be unfulfilling or unsatisfying, or a person may be using it as a substitute for his need to be loved.

Family problems, problems with partners, parent-child problems, brother and sister problems cover probably the largest area. The problem may be inharmonious relations, personality conflicts, or power battles. Sometimes parents don't know how to keep their child out of trouble, how to teach him self-discipline, what to say about sex, how to get him to tell the truth. Marriage partners may mutually exist in an atmosphere of hostility, may be beginning to think their marriage is a mistake, but, not know how or be afraid to get out of it. Any member of the family may feel unloved, unwanted, unappreciated. In most cases, a problem involving two or more people is their problem and all of them should be treated together if possible.

Social problems - trouble relating to society, to the law or the system, not knowing how to talk to strangers, making friends, feeling lonely and unwanted. They feel that everyone takes advantage of them, that they can't trust people. Loneliness is especially a problem for older people, or those who are divorced or widowed.

Emotional problems may in fact be behind any of the others, but, sometimes they present themselves more directly. Inability to control one's temper; irrational fears; crying easily over the slightest frustration in one's plans. Many people consider that they just are 'more sensitive' than others or have 'strong emotions' or that it's because of my horoscope sign. In other words, they see unstable emotions as something they were born with, rather than as a habitual behavior pattern that causes them problems, that can and should be changed.

Work or role problems. So few jobs today are really satisfying. Work is fragmented, boring, repetitious, does not make a person feel worthwhile. This is not necessarily financial. Some people make good money but hate their jobs. Some highly educated people are so specialized they know nothing about life outside their field, can't do anything for themselves. This area also covers women's problems, especially as women become more conscious of the role that has been imposed on them and become dissatisfied with household chores and child raising as the only outlets for their talents. For children and adolescents, problems in this area deal with school; many are feeling frustrated, feel it is boring, resort to truancy even though it may mean jail.

Past, guilt, future or anxiety problems. We can consider these together, as dwelling either in the past or the future prevents a person from living fully in the present. A person can learn from his past, of course, and must have goals and plans for the future.

But, there are people who cannot adjust to change or to losses and look back on the 'good old days', wishing that times didn't change. Or they may have regrets or guilt, if only I had done it differently, constantly going over old tapes and trying to rewrite them.

Future problems are of two kinds. First, there are those people who are doing all right now, but, instead of enjoying it, use their energy worrying about losing their possessions of loved ones, or if something is going wrong. Or they have problems in the present and try to escape them by dreaming of the future, when the children are grown, as soon as my boat comes in, etc. There are also people with legitimate concerns about the future, trying to decide on reasonable plans and goals, who need help or guidance. Often, these concerns overlap the problem of identity.

The problem of identity is one that not everyone is aware of. Many people go through life, following the patterns or 'scripts' set up for them by society or their parents and never ask, 'Who am I? Where am I going? What do I want to become?' Yet other people, often those with more than the average self-awareness, are not satisfied with the name-rank-and-serial-number answers. They find that the many roles they are playing begin to feel 'phony', or they see many different personalities within themselves and wonder which one is real. In a sense, these people are closer to finding and realizing their fullest potential as human beings than those who do not ask, but, often they have to go through some very painful and confusing stages in the process, especially when the people closest to them are unable to understand or sympathize because they have never gone through it themselves.

Religious problems are the final area we will consider and may well be the most common problems in many Soul Clinics. Because many people are finding hypocrisy and contradictions in the religious teachings of their parents they often react initially by rejecting religion entirely or switching to a radically different religion as an act of rebellion. And yet the need to understand themselves and the universe, and the desire to discover the way it came into being and especially the fact of death which all living things face, continues to bring them back to the eternal religious questions. How to decide which of the many different and contradictory answers is the truth, How to have faith, What to do if you don't have it, What is God or is there a God ... Still other people appear to reject the old teachings, but, retain feelings of guilt and fear from the moral standards they were indoctrinated with.

This often creates conflicts between what seems to be making them happy and what is supposed to make them happy. Others go from one religious sect to another, searching for the promises of salvation and joy, but, never satisfied with what they find. The Soul Clinic can serve a unique function in this area. Secular psychologists and psychiatrists often are not sympathetic to these kinds of problems, perhaps because they haven't tried to figure them out themselves. Most ministers, on the other hand, treat such problems by trying to indoctrinate the person into the beliefs of the church they represent. The Soul Clinic counselor will have studied a wide variety or religious beliefs and doctrines as well as his own; thus he will be able to see the unity among them as well as the differences, and can help people find their own truth.

The attitude of the counselor toward the client is the most important part of the therapy. The counselor toward the client is the most important part of the therapy. The counselor must get involved, care, respect and trust the client as a person, give 'warm strokes', be loving. The more you can think of the other person as yourself, get into his shoes, understand where he is coming from, the more you can help him. This is in contrast with the traditional psychiatric approach where the therapist stays aloof and uninvolved.

Most of the persons 'hang-ups ', problems, and negative emotions are habits he has acquired in his life rather than inborn characteristics. They can be changed. But, a person can only change or be helped to change when he admits that he has a problem and decides that he wants to do something about it. You cannot help a person who won't help himself.

The most basic decision a person makes is whether he will be a winner or a loser in life, his self image, his way of confronting the Universe. A loser isn't aware that he had decided to be a loser. He might say that he tries but things always go wrong, that people take advantage of him, etc. He has good ideas but never seems to be able to manifest them.

We believe that everyone can be a winner and that you as a ULC pastor can help members of your congregation or others to overcome their problems.

As Reverend Hensley says, "We are all born to be kings, but, some of us lose the desire."

A minister might be called upon to help a person write a will, especially when the testator (the person who makes the will) wants to donate all or part of his or her legacy to the church. Therefore, every minister should have some knowledge of the laws that apply to such donations and the proper ways to set up and handle a will.

The Universal Life Church offers a course in American Church Law and Parliamentary Procedure that also includes basic information on wills. The course, which leads to a Doctorate of Religious Humanities is available for a minimum donation of $40.00.

Any property involved in the will should be accurately described and located. The interest in the property should also be included, together with the full names and addresses of the recipients. As executor (a person or corporation appointed by the testator to carry out the provisions of the will) the testator should name someone in whom he has the utmost confidence. A good practice would be to nominate two executors, for example a close friend or relative who can be trusted. Care should also be taken in selecting those who are to witness the will, as they may have to testify in court after the testor's death.

If you, as pastor of the congregation are called upon to help in writing the will in which your church is the beneficiary, you cannot sign the will as a witness. It is generally provided by statute that a bequest to a subscribing witness shall be void.

The term if undue influence means that someone induces the testator to dispose of his property in a way which he would not have done, had he been left free to act according to his own wishes. if such influence is proved in court, the instrument will be upset.

However, mere advice, argument or persuasion, which do not deprive the testator of his mental freedom, are not considered undue influence. To probate a will means to prove before some officer or tribunal, authorized by law, that the document offered is the last will and testament of the deceased person whose act it is alleged to be; that it has been executed, attested, and published as required by law, and that the testator was of sound and disposing mind. In short, when a will is probated its validity is established. Until a will is duly probated or proved, courts will not recognize any powers of the one named in the will as executor, nor anyone claiming under the will such as a devisee or legatee. Where probate is refused, it is presumed that the deceased died intestate (without a will).

As to the testator's capacity, he must in the language of the law, have a sound and disposing mind and memory. In other words, he ought to be capable of making his will with an understanding of the nature of the business in which he is engaged, etc. This does not mean that he should be able to view his will with the eye of a lawyer. It is sufficient if he understands the elements of the will and the disposition of his property in its simple forms.



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