Articles by Staff

Diving into the Wreck: Clergy and Trauma

Adrienne Rich, in her poem called “Diving Into the Wreck,” says this:

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
And the treasures that prevail.

[The Fact of A Doorframe. Norton, 1984]

In the fall of 2003, I had the opportunity to meet monthly with a group of interfaith chaplains for a mini-course on trauma. The chaplains represented Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Catholic faith groups and had extensive experience in dealing with trauma. The categories of “teacher” and “student” simply did not apply in this setting. Their experience in dealing with trauma and its aftermath was unparalleled. Read More »

How Therapy Can Help You Grow In Sobriety

“You cannot solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it.”

-Albert Einstein

Addiction is a spiritual disease as well as physical and psychological and needs to be addressed on all these levels.

Therapy can be helpful not only in evaluating your use of substances, but in finding an approach in sobriety that is specific to your needs and goals in recovery.

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A Community of Ministry

When my life was somewhat simpler, I used to collect and frame engravings and etchings as somewhat of a hobby. In fact, I am one of the few persons you know who could, legitimately and not euphemistically, invite you up to “see my etchings”. One in particular is important to me. It is an etching of Telegraph Hill in my home town of San Francisco, and that etching, which hangs in my living room, has a story behind it. It is a story of a favor asked, gratitude expressed, and learning gained.

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Pastor and Pastoral Counselor

Parochial ministry has been the center of my life for the past twenty years. Six years were spent as an associate and fourteen as a pastor. It has been a wonderfully fulfilling and rewarding time. However, I must admit that my pastoral education did not prepare me for the complexity of ministry in a parish church. I want to share some reflections about pastoral counseling but before I do so I would like to share some of the day to day experiences of the pastor.

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9-11: A Reflection on Trauma and Meaning

PSI’s Trinity Counseling Center is located two blocks south of the World Trade Center, was well within the “red zone” after 9/11.

I was downtown that day. I saw the South Tower fall and raced around a corner not to be engulfed in smoke and debris. I fled with many to Staten Island and spent the night there with the Rector of Trinity Church and a small cohort of senior staff. On the morning of 9/12 we took a cab across the Verrezano Bridge and the Q train back to Union Square. Our office was well within the “red zone” and cordoned off. I walked from the Village to St. Paul’s Chapel in the afternoon and was allowed to tour the area with a police escort and then in the days and weeks following worked alongside volunteers who listened to the rescue and recovery workers who were the “first responders.”

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