The Company Chaplain

1. Why use chaplains?

There is a long history of chaplains being in the trenches with workers, literally. In the military, there have been chaplains marching into battle with troops for hundreds of years — being there for them before battle, when fear is at its highest, and afterwards, when they may be in shock, or in grief because they lost beloved comrades or leaders.

In the battles that challenge each of us, it’s natural to need support from time to time to keep balanced and productive in the midst of overwhelming stress, such as coping with the effects of Covid-19.

Soldiers often seek out the chaplain because they know conversations with the chaplain are confidential. They are also easily available, even on the battlefield. Military chaplain’s services are free, and they can address the deeper questions that trouble folks at times of crisis—ethical questions about what to do when in doubt about an important decision, for example.

Many of us fear succumbing to Covid, feeling miserable about how it is affecting family, or suffering with loss — be it a family member or some measure of freedom and peace of mind. It’s good business to access that support for yourself and/or your team.

All the Chaplains at The Company Chaplain are of the highest professional standards. They are Board certified chaplains. That means they are highly trained clinicians who support everyone, no matter what their belief system. We:

  • do not promote our own beliefs
  • do not proselytize, because our goal is to support you through a tough time
  • do not try to convert anyone
  • support each client in their own worldview, exploring where it may not be serving someone, when necessary.
  • do not diagnose anyone with mental health issues

2. Is a Chaplain like a psychologist or a Pastor?

Yes—in some ways—and yet, not! The Company Chaplain fills a unique space between psychology and religion. Both disciplines deal with the soul, or psyche, but they can be limited in the way they approach life, and each comes laden with a set of preconceptions.

Not everyone wants to talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Many want to avoid a diagnosis, or the stigma of, “mental health issues.” Chaplain’s do not diagnose. We are not mental health providers, so that stigma is not an issue.

Conversely, not everyone wants to talk to a Pastor or religious leader, who is there to guide folks in what their church teaches. A chaplain is a clinical professional, one who has a foot in the spiritual domain, but is not there to represent the teaching of their church or religion.

Like psychologists and psychiatrists, Chaplains are highly trained professional counselors but we are not limited to only the secular aspects of life. For example, after talking through your concerns, if you want a spiritual intervention such as a healing meditation or prayer or ritual to support the whole person, we can happily provide that in consultation with you.

Our chaplains are here to support you as a human being going through a difficult phase of your life. To be a resource for you, helping you clarify your values and purpose and move forward to greater fulfillment. We celebrate with you, and we grieve with you.

The goal of our board-certified Chaplains is to help you heal and find meaning within your own frame of reference for finding strength and purpose in life.

3. What if I’m not religious or spiritual?

We understand. Not everyone will want to talk to a chaplain. And some issues are best dealt with in psychotherapy or with your doctor.

One thing to remember — talking with The Company Chaplain is not like a session with your Pastor, Parish Priest, Rabbi, or Imam. The role of clergy is to support folks in the teachings of their religion. At The Company Chaplain, we support you in the beliefs that are important to you, and we do not promote our faith.

We tailor our support to you, which means we listen deeply to what you say, get what’s important to you, and design all our recommendations or interventions with you in mind.

For those with questions about a particular faith tradition or are struggling with an ethical question, we’re happy to provide that support too. And if we’re not the experts you are looking for, we’ll tell you… and help you find the person who can help.

4. What do you do?

We listen with an open mind, and work with each client in exploring their experience from a broader perspective, so that they come out of the session with more peace, hope and possibility for healing. We:

  • comfort the bereaved,
  • encourage those who are downhearted,
  • find meaning and integrate learning to foster growth from challenging experiences
  • help you cope with an intensely stressful time,
  • draw on prayer and meditation or other spiritual practices, for those who wish

5. Do you pray with clients?

Sometimes. We are always guided by a client’s preferences. Some value prayer, and as part of our service, we are happy to pray with someone when that is what they want. And not to pray, when that is not what they want.

If you want to talk about beliefs, spirituality or religion, we’re happy to do that. If you want some guidance to explore religious or spiritual practices, we’ll tailor our recommendations to your needs.

6. How long is a session?

You can book sessions of various lengths on our website, with a minimum of 30 minutes, or longer if it’s a joint counseling session.

7. Is this confidential?

Yes! We offer Military-gradeTM confidentiality. That means The Company Chaplain follows the time-honored tradition of military chaplains who do not enter clinical notes in your personnel file or medical record.

Furthermore, we do not record your session. We do not report the names of our clients to employers. If your employer is paying for your session, the billing charge will not name you.

The only exception to our confidentiality — if you disclose an intention or plan to harm yourself or another, we will alert the authorities in your area about that. This is for your safety and because Chaplains are mandated, reporters.

8. Are you associated with an organized religion?

No, The Company Chaplain is not associated with any religion or spiritual group.

Each individual chaplain working with us is Board Certified, and that requires them to be endorsed (not necessarily ordained) by an organized religion—Interfaith, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu. We would be open to an Atheist chaplain too, so long as they are board certified and meet our other criteria for employment.

No matter what religion they belong to, our chaplains’ first rule is: do not proselytize. In other words, our chaplains do not try to convert anyone to the chaplain’s belief system or faith. To the contrary, they are there to support you, the client, in finding strength and meaning in the beliefs that are important to you.

9. What are board certified chaplains?

A board-certified chaplain is a highly trained clinician, they have at least a Master’s level education, and they maintain high professional standards through continuing education.

If you are working with a board-certified Chaplain, you have a professional working to help you.

Board certification means that the Chaplain:

  • met high standards of professional training
  • agrees to behave in accordance with ethical principles
  • maintains the endorsement of his/her/their faith group
  • keeps current in continuing education requirements
  • renews certification annually

CompanyRounds

1. Why should I trust CompanyRoundsTM?

Safety and confidentiality are baked into every step of CompanyRounds. From the agreement that folks make at the start of each session, to avoid naming companies and people and to keep what they hear confidential.

And we don’t judge people in CompanyRounds, we accept that each person’s experience is just that—their experience, not right or wrong. And we don’t focus on others, it’s not a blame session. And finally, it’s not a pity party—it takes guts to share painful experiences and own your feelings.

Finally, we do not record sessions and we do not analyze what is shared in the session.

We do not report to your employer on what is shared unless it is an expression of intent to harm self or others.

2. Wouldn’t it be better for people to do this on their own time?

People can join in their own time, but smart leaders know that teams are more productive the more members trust each other. Morale improves when people are happier in themselves. Creativity flows when folks aren’t carrying around painful feelings. This is why it makes sense to take an hour out of the workday to participate in CompanyRounds once a month.

If CompanyRounds is a regular feature on the calendar—say once a month—the culture of the organization will grow in compassion, making your company a better place to work.

3. Is it mandatory?

We don’t recommend making CompanyRounds mandatory. But we do suggest you provide some encouragement for folks to attend the first session.

4. Is this another training?

CompanyRounds is not training. It’s an opportunity to talk about work-related experiences that continue to weigh on us in the present.

We talk about hard things that we happened at work, and specifically, the feelings that remain after we experienced those things. That’s not to say that skills training isn’t valuable, just that there will be other opportunities to learn new skills and improve your knowledge.

CompanyRounds frees up cognitive space and builds the bonds of trust and empathy that support good teamwork and communication.

5. Is this a support group?

It’s not a psychotherapy group, where the intention is to heal some issue. It is a peer-support forum-a place where peers can share experiences in a supportive, safe space that benefits the individual participant and their employer, e.g. by improving communication in the organization.

6. Will this help me improve my performance at work?

CompanyRounds nurtures the human being with compassion and fosters the growth of trust, and these experiences will help you to perform better.

It’s important to know that we don’t problem solve, or engage in, “Monday morning quarterbacking.” There are other places to formally figure out what should have, or could have been done better. What’s unique about CompanyRounds is that we’re interested in your actual experiences and allowing you to give voice to the ways they may have remained to trouble you.

7. Why focus on feelings?

Many of our motivations at work are emotional. Painful memories or experiences that impact our perception of ourselves or others can affect our health and performance, as well as the company culture or success of our team. CompanyRounds will help develop healthier, happier co-workers, and it sends the message that you’re a compassionate employer.

8. Is there any data on employee retention?

Workers who feel unsupported by their employer are twice as likely to be considering a career change, according to a recent survey of more than 1,200 full-time U.S. employees.

Key findings were that over 80% of workers report that recent events (in 2020) have negatively impacted their mental health. 65% say it’s affecting their ability to work. Only 14% of those have sought mental health care, and most are paying for this treatment out of pocket.

CompanyRounds are an innovation in employee assistance, and it’s too early to say if employees will stay longer with an organization if they know there’s a forum to acknowledge and receive peer support, but findings such as these lead us to expect so.