21 Aug

How Spiritual Counseling can help you today

We are in a time of uncertainty and crisis. From climate change to COVID-19, to loss of loved ones, jobs, relationships and the solid foundation of our lives, many people are feeling depressed, fearful, and overwhelmed. A May 4th article in The Washington Post detailed a significant rise in calls to mental health hotlines this year pointing to a wave of problems including depression, substance abuse and suicide (Wan., W., 2020).  And even if we are not numbing ourselves with drugs or substances, but are just feeling alone, confused, or hopeless, having someone to lean on and to help us cope and find hope and healing during these times can be a lifesaver.

What is spiritual counseling and how does it differ from clinical counseling? A spiritual counselor or spiritual director is a companion that helps you access your own inner guidance and wisdom and helps you to reconnect with your own conception of the Divine, your guides and your purpose. It differs from clinical counseling in that it isn’t about diagnosing and treating you or focusing on what makes you feel broken or “sick.” A spiritual counselor holds you in the dignity and wholeness of yourself, in all aspects of your personhood, mind, body and spirit.

I approach spiritual counseling as an invitation to set aside sacred time each week or month for you to go within, for us to invite in the Divine and to examine and explore whatever needs you may have in that very moment. I use my intuitive gifts to explore the presence that begins when you take the time to listen, to connect, and have the courage to question and develop your curiosity. What does it mean to be vulnerable? How does it help to reflect on hopes and fears and not stay distracted or push them away? How can I move out of a fearful place and embrace hope and unknowing with courage?  I have helped clients with relationship issues, career concerns, creativity blocks and just by being a clear mirror for what they need to reveal about themselves.

My sessions are personal, confidential, hopeful, and caring. We may pray together, meditate together, sing together, do ceremony together, or I may choose a divination card or when requested, provide input from ancestors or spirit guides. I am here to listen to what is stirring within your soul. Each session is unique, as we are all unique, and as the pathway for our relationship to the Divine is unique for everyone.

My own spiritual path is primarily Nature-based spirituality. I am a Wiccan Priestess, a Lukumi Priestess and a practicing Spiritist. I am also an interfaith/interspiritual minister and trained spiritual counselor, ordained, and trained at One Spirit Learning Alliance in New York City. In addition, I practice 12-step spirituality.  I am currently enrolled in the Master of Clinical Counseling program at Saint Bonaventure University and I hope to earn a license in mental health counselor (LMHC) in New York State in 2023. From there, I will allow Spirit to guide me as how best to serve, as so many are now and will continue to be in need support. Clients who have enjoyed my services range from traditional Christians, Clergy, Pagans, Santeros, 12-step practitioners and people who consider themselves spiritual but not religious.  My personal worldview is that there are only two kinds of religion: open and closed. Open religion allows for an inclusive and non-judgmental relationship towards the divine and this is the philosophical foundation I affirm and use to approach my spiritual counseling relationships. I will honor and support whichever path works for you and our goal is to help you deepen that connection and relationship.

Because we are in a time of crisis, I am offering one free session for new clients, and discounted rates for those who express financial hardship. My fees are $35.00/half hour, $50 for 45 minutes, and $75-100 for a full hour session. Most sessions now are online on Zoom due to COVID-19, but if you are local to the Hudson Valley, we can also meet at my location just outside of Kingston at our home and spiritual center, Soul Blossom Center, surrounded by nature’s beauty.  If you are curious but would like more information, please do not hesitate to write to me at: wendyvanallen@gmail.com or (732) 642-9800. I look forward to hearing from you!

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