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"Today’s Catholic priest plays a number of roles. He is expected to live a life similar to that of Jesus by setting an example as a leader, a helper, and a healer. Part of his job as a helper is to provide pastoral counseling services to parishioners and members of the public. Within this context, the Catholic priest must employ his knowledge of the Bible and spirituality to help individuals overcome such problems as depression, anxiety, marriage and family conflicts, and drug and alcohol abuse (see Worthington, Kurusu, McCollough, & Sardage, 1996). Americans often enlist the help of a Catholic priest when dealing with a personal problem as an initial means of coping or because they prefer to have spirituality included in their therapy sessions. According to Woodruff (2002), three million hours annually are spent with individuals in pastoral counseling, a form of therapy that combines both secular therapeutic techniques and spirituality. Clearly, Catholic Priests’ use of spirituality within therapy is a welcome treatment plan for many and can lead to a more holistic course of treatment for the counseled person."

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