Who I Am & What I Do...
Who I Am & What I Do...
I am a lifelong learner who is committed to waking up and growing up, so I care about curiosity, compexity, inner wisdom and being a part of the More than meets the eye. To my grandchildren, I am Amma. I like the name Amma because it reminds me that I am a part of the lineage of the Desert Abbas and Ammas who became wise guides for others as they aspired to wholeness.
My professional life began as a teacher. As I added in marriage and children, life became more complex. I found that the answers I had been taught or gleaned for myself were inadequate for the questions I was asking. Putting one foot in front of the next I explored more deeply what it means to be both human and spiritual.
The result of my inquiry was the completion of certificate programs in spiritual formation and spiritual direction, a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and a state license as a professional counselor.
For 15 years I had the privilege of contracting with people to help them find their answers...to gain greater insight and awareness, and to function in daily life with greater flexibility and satisfaction. This has often included acknowleging Mystery as divine presence and exploring the nature of that Presence.
Today, I am more interested in covenantal relationships than contractual ones, and my work focuses more on helping people to fully embrace the questions in service to seeing the Divine in ALL things...even within themselves as a basic core of Goodness and Purpose. Knowledge of psychology is helpful but it is in service to the holy work that is taking place.
Professional Education & Credentials...
Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, Chatham University
Bachelor of Arts in Education, Grove City College
Licensed Professional Counselor, PA, PC005648
National Board of Certified Counselors NCC 231426
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Certificate in Spiritual Formation
Center for Spiritual Formation Ministry of Spiritual Direction
Gestalt Pastoral Care Foundations & Practicum Training
Gestalt Insitute of Pittsburgh Advanced Training Certification
Narrative Tradition Enneagram Core Curriculum+
American Counseling Association
Spiritual Director's International
My approach is multi-disciplinary. Drawing on ancient spiritual wisdom, the science of counseling psychology and the nature of embodiment, I listen without judgment for the deep desires within you and for the invitations toward fullness of life. I then reflect back the Light I see within your spirit. There is still a teacher in me so I also provide information and suggest practices that I believe will support your deepening awareness and relationship with Life.
I have a special place in my heart for therapists and ministry professionals who want to more fully embrace their own spiritual journey, incorporate more spirituality into their work in a non-utilitarian way or wrestle with the big questions that personally haunt them.
"Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center. Each one of us can live a life of amazing power and peace and serenity, of integration and confidence and simplified multiplicity, on one condition - that is, if we really want to."
~ Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion
NOTE: My vocational journey of seeking a more complete understanding of how we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" began with a study of spiritual formation, followed by counseling psychology. I have now come full circle, making the choice to move away from the mental health profession to focus my attention on the practice of spiritual direction in service to a deeper human and spiritual maturity. The training and experience I have enables me to assess readiness for this type of work and to be alert to patterns that might be better served through other types of counseling, so I make referrals to trusted colleagues when it seems appropriate. I often find though that "symptoms" are not an indication of disease but rather an invitation to growth...and when we are growing, "dis-ease' is to be expected. Growing pains, perhaps? In some cases individuals might choose to be in counseling and spiritual direction simultaneously.