Author Archives: Allison Peet

On the Brink: A Group for Religious Professionals Transitioning into Retirement



Retiring from active religious and spiritual leadership evokes many emotions–dread, joy, fear, anxiety, excitement…Questions arise: “How will I find meaning and purpose?” “What is my call now?”  “How do I adapt to all of the changes that aging brings?”  “How do I share my spiritual gifts while maintaining healthy boundaries?”

Utilizing Parker Palmer’s book, “On the Brink of Everything:  Grace, Gravity and Getting Old”, clergy approaching retirement, or recently retired, will gather four times to support one another by exploring the existential challenges retirement brings.

AUDIENCE  Religious professionals including rabbis, pastors, priests, imams and others who are considering their next stage of life
DATE / TIME  Tuesdays from 1:00-3:30PM

  • February 25th
  • March 24th
  • April 28th
  • May 26th
COST  $200 for the full series of four sessions
LOCATION  Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center Conference Room

Click image for a printer friendly flyer


Diane McClanahan, M.Div., B.S.N.

Diane McClanahan, Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Duke University and a master of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, she has served congregations in Connecticut and Iowa. Diane is a spiritual director, clergy coach, church consultant and conflict mediator. Her interest is in providing spiritual and educational programs and consultation to assist spiritual leaders and their congregations to meet the needs of their communities.

Mark Minear, Ph.D.

Mark MinearMark Minear is a licensed psychologist. He is also a recorded minister with the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker). He received his B.A. in Religion and English from William Penn College, an M.A. in Church History from the Earlham School of Religion, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University.  Mark works with adults on a wide variety of issues: depression, anxiety including trauma, loss and grief, transitions and adjustments, and spiritual concerns. Theoretical approaches include logotherapy (meaning-making), cognitive-behavioral, family systems, and mindfulness therapies.  He also has background in working with a variety of churches, denominations, and faith traditions, as well as with individual clergy in need of support.

EMDR Certification with Susan Arland, LMHC





The EMDRIA Certification process allows for a clinician to develop a more in-depth understanding of EMDR, case conceptualization, treatment planning and the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) Model. Through an additional 10 hours of Group Consultation and 10 hours of Individual Consultation, the clinician masters the 8 phases of EMDR treatment and the standard protocol. In a supportive environment, cases are presented, leading to rich dialogue and learning of this often complex therapy. Adaptations for children, Interweaves and clinical choice points will be addressed. The clinician has the opportunity to integrate this approach with their already existing fund of knowledge and to develop a sense of smoothness in their work. For the treatment of specific problem areas, additional protocols and resources will be shared.




Clinicians who have completed EMDR basic training


2nd Tuesday of the Month, 11:30am-1:30pm,  1/14, 2/11, 3/10, 4/14, 5/12, 6/9, 7/7


Group Sessions: $25/hour / Individual Sessions: $100/hour


Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center / 8553 Urbandale Ave, Urbandale, IA


Pre-registration is required. Register by calling Susan Arland at 515-251-6656 or email: Consultation is offered face-to-face, through conference call or Zoom.
Susan Arland, LMHC, completed her EMDR basic training with Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1998. She became an Approved Consultant with EMDRIA in 2008 and has served as a consultant for EMDR basic trainings with the EMDR Institute, and now with Trauma Recovery/Humanitarian Assistance Program and EMDR Consulting, Inc. She uses this approach in her full-time practice with anxiety, depression, life transitions, relationships,addictions, grief and loss, attachment and abuse issues. . Additionally, she uses EMDR for performance enhancement. Susan works with first responders, dispatchers, police and firefighters, providing EMDR treatment to heal the multiple traumas they have endured.She has found EMDR to integrate well with other approaches to therapy.

2019 Holiday Survival Guide

The Big Holidays—Thanksgiving; Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa; and New Year’s Eve—come with a bag packed full of emotions and feelings. Seasonal expectations can make us feel confused, frustrated, vulnerable, and exhausted. Our feelings during this super-charged time may bounce around like pinballs. How we take care of ourselves can make a big difference in getting through this five-week mega-holiday with as little stress as possible.
The holidays can fill us with dread or joy. Relationship dynamics, individual personalities, or past experiences can impact and intensify our mental health symptoms. Leaving a volatile situation may not be possible. Or, we may be faced with isolation and loneliness. Loss of loved ones and friends who have passed away can increase our symptoms. Our families may be fragmented and scattered. Friends may have moved away or otherwise become inaccessible. Communication may be difficult in strained relationships. The excitement and pressure of preparing for the holidays may overwhelm us.
This time of year brings me bittersweet memories of loss and thankfulness. In recent years, the holidays have been emotional as I simultaneously grieve my sister (2015), my mother (2016), and my partner (2016), even as I feel joy for the time I had with them. The fear and anxiety of receiving a cancer diagnosis (2017) has given way to deep gratitude.

Getting through this emotionally-charged time with minimum distress can feel overpowering as we try to make our way through the flurry of activity and maintain our emotional stability. Here are 37 tips to help during this time.

1. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Self-compassion for your feelings, rhythms, and circumstances help put the situation in perspective.
2. Pamper yourself. Get a massage, manicure, or pedicure. Take a bubble bath and include candles and your favorite music. Stay in your pajamas all day.
3. Dress up in your favorite outfit and prepare your favorite meal. If possible, invite others to join you.
4. “No,” is a complete sentence and a right. Allow yourself, as much as possible, to establish and adhere to realistic expectations. Set firm boundaries. Try not to get caught up in the expectations of others.
5. Take time for quiet celebration, with or without others. Light candles. Play soothing or uplifting music. Do a favorite ritual or try a new one. Start new holiday traditions, rituals, and practices that nurture your spirit.
6. Read my post of October 2019, The Opportunity of Loneliness, for ways to deal with loneliness and isolation.
7. Plan a budget for how you will spend your time and money. Balance time with others with solitude. Stick to it as much as possible.
8. Buy yourself a holiday present or a gift card you can use later.
9. Call someone and have a casual conversation.
10. Read an uplifting, inspiring, or comforting book or that stack of magazines you have saved.
11. Write your thoughts and feelings in a notebook, journal, or diary.
12. Read a sacred text or other inspirational material and reflect on what the passages mean to you.
13. Practice compassion and forgiveness, if only for a short while, as you interact with others.
14. Spend time in religious or spiritual activities that soothe and uplift you. Pray or meditate.
15. Review the closing year. Look for the lessons. Marvel at the wisdom you gained.
16. Make gentle and empowering plans for the new year without locking into resolutions. Try to approach the new year with joyful anticipation and expectancy.
17. Call a trusted friend or family member and let the person know how you are feeling.
18. See a counselor, minister, rabbi, priest, or spiritual director. The Center has counselors who work with grief. To schedule an appointment, click here.
19. Volunteer at an organization you are fond of or one you want to know more about.
20. Engage in activities that inspire awe and wonder in you. Gaze at a clear night sky. Watch a toddler at play.
21. Go for a walk or exercise. Practice yoga or stretching exercises; or, try Tai Chi or Qi Gong.
22. Find reasons to smile and laugh. Watch funny or nurturing movies.
23. Let off steam safely. Try Tae Kwon Do, kickboxing, or screaming.
24. Create something. Paint, color, draw. Or, sculpt, weave, or knit. Write an essay, blog post, or short story. Try a new recipe.
25. Bundle up and head outdoors to blow bubbles. Watch them freeze in mid-air.
26. Decorate your living or work space with décor of the season. The dollar stores have some good options.
27. Spend time with caring, supportive family members or friends, especially sharing a meal, if possible.
28. Honor the rhythms of your body. Eat, sleep, rest, and exercise as your body requires.
29. Write a letter of gratitude, grief, anger, thank you, thinking of you, forgiveness, or apology regardless of whether you intend to send it.
30. Address a holiday card to yourself, write a note inside that inspires and uplifts you, and mail it.
31. Send holiday cards to friends and family members. One of the dollar stores carries an impressive line for $.50 each.
32. Make hot cocoa or cider or buy egg nog.
33. Limit alcohol consumption.
34. Do a craft such as make ornaments, a homemade gift, or a wreath for your door.
35. Perform a random act of kindness.
36. Dress up and have your photo taken by a professional.
37. Participate in seasonal activities at work, school, house of worship, the people in your apartment building or neighborhood, holiday festivals, etc.

I hope these suggestions spark new ideas for you. Allow yourself to experiment until you find what feels right. Try a different idea every day or pick one and use it for a week or the whole season. You may want to do several on the same day. The most important point is to be a friend to yourself.

Thank you to Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center for their generous support and encouragement for my writing these monthly articles. I appreciate all of you who read my column each month and hope I have enriched your life in some way. It is an honor and a privilege to serve the community of the Center. The Holidays offer the promise of beauty, wonder, and grace. Enjoy this festive, exciting season. May you find peace, comforting, and joy in the coming weeks and all of 2020.

Billie Wade, writer

All Saints

James E. Hayes, D. Min., M. Div., Executive Director, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

I recently encountered this All Saints prayer:

O God, before whom the generations rise and pass away:

            We rejoice today in the Communion of Saints,

            In the remembrance of friends and loved ones who once walked with us in mutual love.

We are thankful for every precious memory of their goodness,

            And sustained by contributions each made to our common life.

In the Christian tradition, the feast of All Saints normally lands at the beginning of November. For us inhabitants of the northern hemisphere, it makes sense that the seasons of nature influence the human imagination. As we witness leaves falling and the vibrant colors of summer surrendering to ambers and browns, it seems normal for us to ponder questions of mortality and those who have gone before us.

All of this was on my mind as I reached for the door that led me into the church hosting the funeral for Herb Schulte. Herb was a board president for the Center among his many other accomplishments in a rich life of 93 years. He was a decades-long spouse, father, neighbor, and successful in a career as a Meredith executive and journalism professor. He also gave back generously as a community volunteer—not just at the Center. The funeral ritual captured a spirit of kindness and generosity. All this I surmised as someone who didn’t know Herb personally.

I attended the funeral because I wanted to thank the family for all that Herb and his family did to support the Center over the years. They were even so kind as to make us the beneficiaries of memorial contributions made in Herb’s honor. Thank you! Clearly the work of the Center mattered to the Schultes. I sensed privilege in my opportunity to be present—and inspired.

Inspired in the sense that I felt surrounded and comforted by the spirits of the many folks who have gone before us to make the Center possible. Inspired also to consider my and our role to carry on this important work. Could we even call this work holy in the sense that we are working to stitch lives back together in such a way that people once again experience wholeness? It’s right there in our mission: that we walk with people through counseling and education to find hope and healing, and live a fulfilling life.

We work pretty hard around here to meet people where they are, especially when it comes to their spiritual tapestry. I recognize the throwing around terms like prayer, ritual, holy and saints tends toward confessional language. The problem with language is that it can never capture ultimate mystery. Language has limits.

I resort to such terms because they are a part of my heritage and they help me to describe something I experienced through a ritual celebrating the life of a fellow pilgrim who worked hard to help the Center succeed. What makes a saintly life? A whole life? A life in full? I am convinced that a major part of the answer to these questions is rooted in service. How do we use our gifts to build community? To serve others? To make a difference? To contribute to our common life?

Each day I am inspired by so many who participate in our mission of healing wounds that require the expertise of a counselor. I am grateful for a talented and generous staff, for courageous clients who seek healing through our services, and for the community of donors and volunteers whose generosity makes it all possible.

If you think it’s easy being a board president, just ask someone who’s been in that role!  I’m grateful for Herb and all the saints who have gone before us and those still in our midst.

To read more of Jim’s blogs, CLICK HERE.

LGBTQAI+ Affirming Counseling Class for Clinicians and Clinical Students

This course is for clinicians and pastoral counselors who seek to more effectively assess the mental health treatment needs of and provide therapy and counseling to child, adolescent and adult clients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, agender, intersex, and/or identify with other gender nonconforming and sexual minority identities (LGBTQAI+). It will help care providers better understand the critical concepts, current research, and key clinical issues with regard to this population. This course is offered in person at the Center (8553 Urbandale Ave, Urbandale, IA; in-person class size is limited to 20.) or online, via the Zoom platform.

This course is offered in person at the Center (8553 Urbandale Ave, Urbandale, IA. In-person class size is limited to 20.) or online, via the Zoom platform.

Objectives: Understanding key clinical issues and the most appropriate, effective assessment and counseling approaches with gender nonconforming and sexual minority clients, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, agender, and intersex (LGBTQAI+) clients.

Dates: Fridays, January 3 – March 27, 2020, twelve weeks, (No class on March 20-spring break)
Time: 8:15 – 9:45 AM
Cost: $300 ($150 for clinical students, enter discount code: STUDENT)
CEUs: 18 (Certificates of attendance provided)

Register online now  (deadline to register: January 2, 2020)

Participants in this in-depth, twelve-week, 18-hour course will:

  1. gain a better understanding of the research and evolving conceptualizations of gender identity, sexual orientation, and assigned sex to better ground their work with LGBTQAI+ populations.
  2. increase their awareness and understanding of the key factors for effective assessment and treatment planning.
  3. Learn to identify and begin to confront the common biases and assumptions that often limit understanding and effectiveness in this clinical work.
  4. learn how to create a more welcoming and safe therapeutic environment for these client populations.

Participants will also learn how to address the unique challenges LGBTQAI+ clients may be confronting, including:

  • heterosexist and cisgender bias, homphobia/transphobia, and internalized homophobia/transphobia
  • impact of minority stress and trauma
  • impact of spiritual violence
  • the coming out process
  • navigating and creating intimate relationships & supportive communities
  • risks and challenges faced at different life stages (e.g., youth, elders)
  • the integrative process of identity development for LGBTQ+ people, its challenges, and resolutions.

Click image to view a printer friendly flyer.


Douglas Aupperle, Ph.D.

Doug Aupperle is a licensed psychologist. He received his B.A. in psychology from Creighton University in Omaha, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical child psychology from DePaul University in Chicago.  Doug provides psychotherapy and psychological assessment/testing to children and adolescents. He has special interests in the areas of anxiety, attention disorders, Bowen Family Systems therapy, child sexual abuse, E.M.D.R. (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), working with LGBT youth and parents, stress and coping in children, and trauma. He is a member of the EMDR International Association

Open House for Potential Trainees and Residents

The Training Program at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center seeks to develop mental health clinicians who are uniquely prepared to serve the needs of the greater Des Moines area and the state of Iowa through expanding and deepening the clinical skills and knowledge base provided in their graduate programs. The Center’s focus on healing of mind, body and spirit and its dedication to lifelong learning provide rich learning opportunities for trainees and clinical staff alike.

Join us in the large conference room at the Center for an open house for the 2020-2021 academic year.  We will offer brief presentations about the training program and a tour of the facility. Light snacks and refreshments will be offered.

Date: Thursday, December 5, 2019

Time: 4:30 – 6:30 PM

Location: Large Conference Room / The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center / 8553 Urbandale Ave / Urbandale, IA


Hosted By:

Christine A. Dietz, Ph.D., L.I.S.W.

Christine Dietz is a licensed independent social worker, spiritual director and Reiki Master. She is the Center’s Director of Clinical Training. She received her M.S.W. from the University of Iowa and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a graduate of the Lev Shomea Training Program for Spiritual Direction in the Jewish Tradition. Christine’s focus in counseling is on helping people reconnect to their innate wholeness and renew their sense of hope and possibility. She works with people experiencing anxiety, depression, OCD, trauma, life transitions, chronic illness, grief and loss, and relationship issues. She also offers individual and group spiritual direction to people from all faith traditions. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and Spiritual Directors International.

The Opportunity of Loneliness

Living alone can lead to feelings of freedom and independence or trigger feelings of isolation and loneliness. While aloneness and loneliness are often used interchangeably, and often travel together, they are very different.

Aloneness is a physical state in which we are on our own even if other people are present. Reading a book at the library is an example. We may have people with whom to interact and choose to not do so. The key is we recognize our choices and options. We may welcome and embrace the tranquility of being alone, using the opportunity to rest, relax, recharge, and rekindle.

Re-energized, our imagination and creativity flow. We welcome and embrace our time alone and befriend ourselves, allowing for time to explore our values and preferences, our needs and desires, our patterns and routines, our goals and dreams. Curiosity about our inner life leads to discovering with delight the surprise of who we are. Pampering and nurturing ourselves become priorities rather than indulgences. We find confidence in self-reliance. Solitude sustains us.

Loneliness is a mental state in which we feel disconnected from other people and, possibly, from our spiritual foundation. We have no one with whom to share thoughts and feelings even when we are with others. Loneliness can impact physical health as well as mental health, contributing to heart disease, a compromised immune system, depression (which itself may lead to loneliness), thoughts of suicide, and anxiety. We may experience stifled imagination and crushed creativity. Boredom and loss of interest often worsen the loneliness.

There are myriad life events that trigger loneliness, including genetics and grief, which encompasses changes in life circumstances such as moving away from friends and family; empty nest; going off to college; divorce; death of a loved one; a new job or losing a job; illness; relocation of close friends, and more. Depression, anxiety, other mental disorders, and strong emotions such as anger or even elation can bring on a bout of loneliness. We may believe no one else can relate to our feelings of isolation and emptiness, there is no one else to share our pain or our joy.

Feeling lonely and feeling alone happen to everyone. An important point to remember is to balance the two states. As an introvert, I enjoy the company of others for limited periods. I require solitude to re-energize and regroup. One of my friends relishes the company of others and rejuvenates when she is in a group where there is a lot of positive energy. Another friend enjoys concerts and gets lost in the music, oblivious to other people in the audience. This same friend enjoys spending informal time with others and is likely to call someone on the spur of the moment and invite them to meet for coffee or lunch.

Solitude offers me an opportunity to pause, introspect, reflect, and, often, rejoice. Daily thoughts of my sister, mother, and partner, whose deaths occurred in 2015 and 2016, emerge from the hole their absence left in my life. I feel a sense of loneliness for the loss of their presence. In solitude, my grief includes the joy each of those wonderful women brought me, leaving me with gratitude and hope and the realization that, in spirit, they are yet with me. They each left a unique legacy that helps guide my life.

Changes in our attitude and approach to loneliness can go a long way in helping our life improve. Here are several tips for relieving loneliness, some of which involve a little risk (legal and ethical, I promise):

  • Journal your internal dialogue to help you sort through the maze of uncomfortable feelings.
  • Write a list of the advantages of being alone and use each one as a journaling prompt. This can help shift your mindset to one of acceptance of the situation and allow you to create ideas for using the time in positive ways.
  • Develop a mantra or set of affirmations that you can repeat until you feel relief.
  • Spend time alone with other people—dine out, join a gym, go to a park or other public place and observe people, or read a book or write.
  • Do something eccentric you love, such as prepare a favorite meal others find odd or unusual. I like fried chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and homemade cornbread. Most of my friends say, “Ewww.”
  • Take a class or attend a seminar, workshop, art festival, play, or a concert or go to a museum. Striking up a conversation with strangers who share our interests can lead to lasting friendships.
  • Go for a stroll in nature.
  • Volunteer with an organization you want to know more about.
  • Call someone you would like to know better or someone you already know well just to chat.
  • Call a company and ask a question or offer a comment rather than doing so online. I do this sometimes to hear a human voice.
  • Limit social media as it can encourage social comparison. We may think we are connecting with others, but we may actually make our situation more intolerable as we compare our life to their seemingly happy lives.
  • Read inspirational or spiritual materials.
  • Engage in spiritual practices that strengthen you.
  • Brainstorm and make a list of activities you can enjoy. I have a Master List of Things to Do When I’m Bored. It spans several pages and has gotten me through some tough times.
  • Organize an activity such as a card game, Scrabble, book club, a knitting group, MeetUp group, or fan club.
  • Let your imagination boost your spirits. A good idea may change your life.
  • Reach out to someone you trust—mental health professional, religious leader, friend, family member, spiritual director.

These suggestions may be easier offered than done for you. Consider your situation, temperament, and tolerance for interaction. There may be a blurred line between welcoming solitude and perpetuating loneliness. If mobility or transportation are difficult, modifying some strategies can help. I encourage you to experiment to find what interests you.

Left unexplored and unattended, isolation and the resultant loneliness can damage physical as well as mental health. We can reduce our periods of isolation and loneliness in frequency, intensity, and duration by taking the opportunity to welcome and embrace them. With a conscious change in perception and mindset, loneliness can be turned into life-affirming solitude that promotes senses of self-empowerment, confidence, serenity, and well-being. Enjoy the discovery of powerful you.

Billie Wade, writer

To read more about Billie and her articles, click HERE.

Eastern Association United Church of Christ Boundary Training

The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is pleased to offer Ethical Boundary Training for Clergy. Clergy from all denominations are welcome to attend.


DATE  Thursday, March 19, 2020

TIME  9:00AM – 3:30PM (Registration begins at 8:30AM)

TUITION  $30 for Eastern Association members in good standing. $50 for all others.  Lunch is included.

LOCATION St John’s United Church of Christ in Clarence, Iowa (320 9th Ave, Clarence, IA 52216)

REGISTRATION  Pre-registration required by March 12, 2020. Click below.


If  you have questions, contact Diane McClanahan at:

Description of Training

What are healthy boundaries?  Why are they important?  What is the difference between boundary crossing and boundary violation?  Beginning with an understanding of the nature of ministry, this workshop will focus on the broad range of professional boundaries that include but consist of so much more than prevention of sexual misconduct.


  • Developing Self-Awareness
  • The Impact of Family Systems on Healthy Boundaries
  • The Nature of Power
  • Dual Relationships—My Pastor, My Friend
  • Financial Boundaries—Appropriate Gifts
  • Communications—Need to Know or Want to Know?
  • Internet and Social Networks
  • Issues of Resistance
  • Prevention Measures and Supports


Diane McClanahan, M.Div. is the Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life  at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center.  She  holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Duke University and a master of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, she has served congregations in Connecticut and Iowa. Diane is a spiritual director, clergy coach, church consultant and conflict transformation specialist.  She provides spiritual enrichment opportunities, professional development programs and consultation to assist faith community leaders and their congregations to meet the needs of their communities through the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center.


Diane McClanahan, Director, Leadership and Spiritual Life
Phone:  515-251-6667

Iowa Statewide Spiritual Directors Fall Gathering

Register now for a fall regional gathering of spiritual directors in Des Moines.  The event is offered through the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center and will provide opportunities for fellowship, continuing education and mutual support.

Date:               Friday, November 15, 2019

Time:               9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.)

Location:         Central Presbyterian Church (3829 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA)

Fee:                 Before November 1st – $85,  After November 1st – $110
** Registration closes November 10th**

Plans for an optional dinner together at a local restaurant are being made for Thursday evening, November 14th.  More information will follow.



Morning Presentation:  The Freeway and the Frontier:  Using the Enneagram’s Three Centers to Explore Preferences and Prejudices on the Spiritual Path

Spiritual directors and directees bring preferences and prejudices about spiritual practices to direction sessions. Using the Enneagram’s three Centers, we’ll explore how the personality’s relationship with the Instinctive, Feeling, and Thinking Centers inclines us to easily merge with some practices and to resist others, often at the expense of growth toward wholeness. No prior knowledge of the Enneagram is needed.

Adele Ver Steeg is a Des Moines-based spiritual director and has been a student of the Enneagram for nearly 20 years.  An Accredited Professional Member of the International Enneagram Association, she shares the Enneagram’s profound and practical wisdom in study groups and workshops, and offers individual consultation.


Afternoon Workshops:  (Choose one)

The Christ Project: A Taste of Teilhard’s Spirituality for Spiritual Directors

Teilhard de Chardin envisioned that all of creation is part of a great project going on – one envisioned by the Creator almost fourteen billion years ago at the first moment of creation.  This emerging vision draws on Teilhard’s understanding of the nature of God, understandings now validated by modern scientific discoveries.  His revelations speak to the longing deep in the being of all of humanity and creation to reach Divine fulfillment.   In this breakout session, we’ll discuss a few key components of the principles that guided his work.

Kathy Reardon, R.N., M.S.

Kathy Reardon, RN, MS. Kathy Reardon is a holistic nurse, spiritual director, and Healing Touch Practitioner. She holds a bachelor of nursing degree from the College of St. Scholastica and a master of science degree in counseling from Drake University. Kathy combines Healing Touch with other holistic approaches to assist her clients in growing in self-responsibility, empowered well-being, and wholeness. She has a special interest in working with those in trauma, life threatening illness, grief and loss, and critical life transitions. As a spiritual director, Kathy plans and facilitates retreats, and presents programs on prayer, spirituality, and adult faith formation.


Giving Space to Peace

With a focus on self-care, invite the end of day through an experience of movement with words, lines, and colors to give space to peace. How the lines develop, a word or words with one color, or many, will be discussed.

Through her private practice and community art studio, Sam Erwin serves the Des Moines Metro as an art therapist and spiritual director in partnership with Broadlawns Medical Center, Iowa Lutheran Hospital and NAMI Greater Des Moines.


The Spirituality Wheel in Spiritual Direction

The Spirituality Wheel is a tool that provides a way to “draw a picture” of your spirituality style through four ways of knowing God: through the head, the heart, the hands, and as mystery. Utilizing the work of Corrine D. Ware, we will discover our own spirituality style, unpack the gifts and dangers of each type, and discover implications for our work with our directees.

Dr. Christine Dietz

Christine Dietz Ph.D., L.I.S.W., is a licensed independent social worker and spiritual director. She is the Center’s Director of Clinical Training. Christine is a graduate of the Lev Shomea Training Program for Spiritual Direction in the Jewish Tradition, and is a D.Min. candidate in Jewish spirituality.



For more information:   contact Diane McClanahan at: 515-251-6667 or