What is spiritual care?
“Spiritual care” describes the holistic, trauma-informed work I do and the space I hold with clients. Most people today have a history of trauma, which may include generational and/or racial trauma. Many have had relationships or experiences that have deeply impacted them in enduringly painful ways, and often those relationships and experiences happened within church or another religious setting.
Spiritual care looks for the meaning of pain, suffering, and healing, and how the healing journey frees us to be truly, resiliently human. I believe that you have innate wisdom for your healing journey. What I offer in a session is sanctuary: the time and the mental/emotional space for bearing witness to your contemplation, exploration, and transformation. I also have practical exercises and resources to add to your “self-care toolbox” and can offer insight into the different signposts you might see along the journey.
How is spiritual care different from therapy?
Spiritual care involves authentic self-awareness and reflection, and often includes grieving (loss of relationship, community, expectations, identity, etc.). We do this work in a holistic sense that seeks to reintegrate spirit, mind, and body, since this vital connection has often been damaged in traditional religious settings.
Together we look for ways to connect the dots in your story and find meaning in your painful experiences, while exploring the ways you already have been healing and appreciating your strength. Many clients explore their beliefs around God or a higher power, the way the universe works, spiritual practices, synchronicities and metaphysics, or their thoughts and questions about different scriptures or doctrines.
Frequently clients are seeking to repair or strengthen the connections between their spirituality, their cognitive beliefs, and their sensory experience. This process of healing and reintegration helps us to move forward in even healthier relationships with self and others.
Therapy is a critical piece of healing, but instead may focus on diagnosing and treating mental health concerns, addressing cognitive or behavioral issues, or processing traumatic memories with a licensed and trained specialist. I frequently work with clients who are also in therapy or are being treated for other health concerns.
What is the process for seeking spiritual care?
Step one is to schedule your free 20-minute consultation with me. After that conversation, if we’ve both determined we are a good fit, I will send you an online intake packet to fill out and get your first appointment scheduled. Payment is on a pay-what-you-can basis, but generally clients pay between $60 and $150 per session. Most of my clients meet with me every other week, but many choose to meet on a weekly basis.
What happens in appointments?
Appointments take place via Zoom. This is your time—we can talk about whatever you want to that day. Most likely the first two or three appointments will consist of getting to know each other and exploring the point of need or baseline goal that brought you to me. This is your time—you get to decide what you share or don’t share. Since sharing painful stories can be a vulnerable and potentially retraumatizing experience, I will never ask you to share details of traumatic experiences.
My approach is client-centered and my goal is to create safe space for you that is free from judgement. Many of my clients express deep emotion during our sessions. I am prepared to equip you with practical exercises that help neutralize shame and assist in your self-regulation if you are triggered.
Much of what I do is walk alongside you to cheer you on as you are doing this healing work, and to remind you that in whatever you’re facing, you always have options.
Frequently by the end of our appointment, clients express a feeling of freedom and like a weight has been lifted.
Some clients need only a handful of sessions while others request a longer relationship that spans several months or years. It just depends on how you are healing, and that journey looks different for everyone.
Please contact me for a consult if you have any questions. May you find peace and beauty on your healing journey.
Possible conversation topics for appointments:
- Stories of traumatic church experiences
- How to deal with shame and the inner critic
- Purity culture and reclaiming sexuality
- Boundaries in relationships
- Narcissistic abuse and recovery
- Racial justice and anti-racist work
- Recovery from xenophobia, homophobia, and patriarchy
- The Old and New Testaments and how they came into being
- Jesus, God, and/or the Holy Spirit; beliefs about each/all
- Buddhist psychology and meditation
- Christian mysticism
- Metaphysical experiences and synchronicities
- Recurring or vivid dreams
- Parenting and child development
- The Enneagram
- Faith deconstruction and reconstruction
- Kindness, service, and living in community
- Self-care and finding harmony in life
- Beauty and creating
- Skills for self-regulation and self-soothing
- Grief and loss
- Chronic illness and coping skills
Disclaimer: Spiritual care is not a substitute for psychotherapy or other healthcare. I am not a licensed mental health care practitioner and do not provide psychotherapy or mental health treatment. During your intake process and subsequent plan we develop together, I will refer you to therapies, counseling, coaching, legal, and/or medical help as necessary.