What is spiritual care?
“Spiritual care” describes the holistic, compassionate trauma integration work I do and the space I hold as a healing partner 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 and companionship: 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,” can help you integrate trauma, and can offer insight into the different signposts you might see along the journey. You are not alone!!
How is spiritual care different from psychotherapy?
Spiritual care involves authentic self-awareness and reflection, and often includes grieving (loss of relationship, community, expectations, identity, etc.). It also frequently involves exploring generational trauma and examining long-held toxic beliefs and biases. 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, reclaim hope, and extract meaning from 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. I also frequently do dream interpretation work with clients.
My clients tend to be the cycle-breakers of their families. Many of want to reclaim their autonomy from high-control environments they were raised in while embracing healthier boundaries in their relationships. Not always, but frequently, the patterns we end up exploring together are ancestral traumas that have been passed down through the generations.
Frequently clients are seeking to repair or strengthen the connections between their spirituality, their cognitive beliefs, and their sensory, somatic experience. This process of healing and reintegration helps us to move forward in hope, freedom, and even healthier relationships with self and others.
Psychotherapy is a critical piece of healing, but instead may focus on diagnosing and treating mental health concerns or addressing cognitive or behavioral issues. I frequently work with clients who are also in therapy and/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 $70 and $150 per session (please click here to learn more, especially if that payment range is a hardship; you have options). 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. Many of my clients do come to a place where they feel safe enough to process the emotions attached to those experiences and have found deep healing.
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 can equip you with practical exercises that help neutralize shame and assist in your self-regulation if you are triggered. I am seeking certification in EFT tapping and have many other “emotional first-aid” skills we can practice together, including skills for mindful self-compassion, honing your intuition, and strengthening your interoception. If needed, and only when you feel safe to do so, we can work on integrating trauma fragments (memories, sensations, chronic behaviors, etc.) to bring you more liberation in your daily life.
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 and you’re never alone in this.
Frequently by the end of our appointment, clients express a feeling of freedom and like a weight has been lifted. You can see some more of their feedback here.
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:
- Sharing stories of traumatic church experiences
- How to neutralize shame and the inner critic
- Self-compassion and mindfulness techniques
- Purity culture and reclaiming sexuality
- Boundaries in relationships
- Narcissistic abuse and recovery
- Anti-racist work and healing from white-body supremacy
- Genealogy and ancestral healing
- 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
- Death with dignity
- Chronic illness and coping skills
Disclaimer: While most clients find our time together therapeutic, 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.