Pastoral Skill Building Activities {Section D}

Pastoral Skill Building Activities


Participants were involved in skill awareness activities as the course progressed.

  • Exercises that focused on the skills of listening and responding to another person.


Issues that emerged with multi-faith and multi-cultural activities:


  • There are cultural variations as to what is the appropriate eye contact. Western cultures value strong eye contact, while Asian defer away in eye contact.


  • There are difficulties encountered about an appropriate manner for male / female contacts with people of some cultural backgrounds.


  • Exercises that addressed the skills of being empathic. This drew a distinction between the motive and intention of communicative action, and highlighted an understanding of the inner life as something constructed over time by mirroring, twin-shipping, idealizing and adversarial relationships that become self-object relationships within the person.


  • An exercise that used the psychodrama techniques to assist participants practice various skills.


  • A case study that offered an opportunity to reflect as a pastoral carer on the "intention" of another person. Participants were asked to imagine having an interview as a pastoral carer with a self declared atheist, and to seek ways to respond to the person empathically that respected his views but also connected him to any inner and spiritual resources he might have.


  • Use of role plays enabled the participants to test their skills under the observation of the group, and in so doing learn skills and strategies from each other.


Again in evaluation it was recognised that there can be limitations in a situation of female and male with interaction in role plays between Christian and Muslim and Hindu cultures.


  • A workshop on attention and reflection in action to develop spontaneity.


Here participants sought to focus with concurrent attention on both the other person and the self. When acting to seek to maintain simultaneous focus in care there is a readiness engendered in the carer for spontaneity with regard to the other person.


  • Finally the process of verbatim reports was introduced as a basic tool for ongoing Clinical Pastoral Education training. Each participant was assigned the task of returning in the final week with a verbatim report of a pastoral care encounter. These were presented and discussed in the final session.


he skill building training in this program is equivalent to the 5 day Introductory Course in Clinical Pastoral Education.


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