Center for Counseling & Soul Care

About the Center

Dr. Christine L. Currie

In September 2011 the Social Work and Counseling Department of the Russian-American Institute founded the Center for Counseling and Soul Care.  The Center is unique in Russia in providing counseling services on a personal basis to individuals, couples, and families.  Its faith-based foundation integrates spiritual encouragement and guidance with psychological practices that include traditional techniques as well as creative therapies such as art and play therapy.  In addition, the Center provides a venue unique in Russia in which RAI students can gain practical experience under expert supervision.  The Center meets dual goals of providing both expert services for the Russian population and excellent hands-on training for RAI students.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

What Is Soul Care?

The activity of caring for souls has a long tradition in Christianity.  Soul is the most common translation of the Hebrew word nepesh and the Greek word psyche.  In the Old Testament, nepesh may mean life, the inner person (particularly thoughts, feelings, and passions), and the whole person, including the body.  The soul is understood as that which distinguishes humans from animals and living from dead.  It is also the source of emotions, the will, and moral actions.  Similarly, in the New Testament, psyche means the totality of a person, including the physical life, mind, and heart.  The soul is the religious center of life and the seat of desire, emotions, and identity.

Many Biblical scholars suggest that the best single word for both nepesh and psyche is either person or self.  Both words carry the connotation of wholeness.  Therefore, soul care can be described as the support and restoration of the well-being of persons in their depth and totality, with particular concern for their inner life.  The goal of such care can be described as fostering the psychospiritual growth and health of this inner person.

-from Care of Souls, by David G. Benner

» Click here for the bio of Dr. Christine Currie, Center Director