Date: January 11, 2017
A Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Ghana, Legon, Elder Dr Joseph Osafo Adu, has emphasised the need for ministers and their wives to extend the counselling therapies they have with members to themselves.
He acknowledged the fact that the work of the minister is very stressful and could be inimical to their health and well-being if not balanced appropriately.
Elder Dr Osafo Adu, a practicing Clinical Psychologist and Suicidologist, was speaking at the Global Ministers and Wives’ Conference (GMWC’17) of The Church of Pentecost underway at the Pentecost Convention Centre (PCC), Gomoa Fetteh, near Kasoa on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.
He was of the view that Jesus who is a model for ministers was also faced with stress, but his ability to manage it helped him to complete his assignment on earth successfully.
“You might want to go back to the Bible and learn from how Jesus managed his stress. He resorted to activating Scriptures, prioritising his activities, properly managing his fame, resting, managing fear, acceptance of stressful situations and looking for ways to handle them, forgiving those who offended Him and praying for divine enablement,” he indicated.
According to him, stress comes in when one has no resources to counter a difficulty he/she is faced with, but when the person has the capacity to manage it, it becomes no burden at all, saying, “The body was designed in such a way that it responds to demands and when those demands are not fulfilled, it leads to stress.”
He said the body goes through exhaustion, at the onset of stress, then it tries to resort to resistance and when it fails it gets to the alarmed stage. He added that stress may come about as a result of one’s environment, social stressors, physiology and thoughts that could lead to exhaustion.
Dr Osafo Adu who is also the Principal Consultant of SOW Consult (a psychological service group), said that clergy related stressors include paragonic demands, managerial demands, loneliness or isolation dimension and spiritual struggles which can lead to depression, psychotic symptoms and lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, among others.
He entreated ministers of the Gospel to take a cue from the attitude of Jesus towards stress and its effective management.
The Clinical Psychologist also stressed on self-nurturing tips like regular exercise, constant laughing, eating well and resting adequately which, he indicated, must be practised constantly if the minister wants to live a stress-free life.
He also recommended to the leadership of the Church to expand its Counselling Unit and build the capacity of the Church’s counsellors as well as ministers to effectively handle counselling sessions.
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