Many kinds of experiences lead a person to visit and talk to the Dean of the Chapel:
- Transitions: leaving home, settling in, beginning new tasks and relationships
- Problems in relationships (now or in the past)
- Distressing feelings or thoughts
- A sudden life crisis such as death of a loved one, divorce, or unplanned pregnancy
- The experience of abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
- Questions of sexuality
- Questions of identity
- Academic difficulties, such as loss of concentration, motivation, or interest; problems with assignments; a sense of being on the wrong course or a wish to change course; anxiety about competition; fears about failing
- Professional or ethical dilemmas
- Spirituality and faith issues
Pastoral support from a chaplain is as religious as you choose to make it and is offered in a non-judgmental manner. So you do not need to worry about talking about matters that you think would go against their religious principles. The Dean of the Chapel's job is first and foremost to help students, faculty, and staff members, and this means that the starting and finishing points are your views, not theirs.
Just dropping by?
You can talk to the Dean of the Chapel about anything at all. There's not even a need for them to know whether or you are coming to disucss a dilemma, your latest favorite movie, or last week's chapel service.
The advantage of a chaplain being a "general practitioner" is that no one needs to know why you came by to see them. How often can you visit? As often as you like! It is a little different with pastoral counseling. After a few visits, the Dean may refer you to someone else, as meeting with a counseling professional will likely improve your progress in dealing with an issue.