Hello, I’m Rachel Hollingsworth. I am a senior at Simpson College majoring in psychology and religion, and I have been interning at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center for the past few months. After I graduate in May 2019, I plan to head to seminary to pursue a dual degree in divinity and social work. I will begin my graduate studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary this fall. My plan for the future is to work in a ministry setting, such as parish ministry, counseling, or something
else. I like to try new things, so who knows where I might end up? During my internship at the Center, I am learning more about what makes pastoral counseling different from other types of counseling and spiritual direction. To help me understand different sides of working in a counseling center, I have been able to interview multiple staff members here. All of the individuals I spoke with had different positions and expertise, so I have explored many of the different moving parts of the Center. Each person has something different to teach me. I not only learned about their vocational path and job duties, but also the wisdom and advice they have to pass on.
One of my favorite learnings so far was from Ramona, a previous student in the graduate
training program at the Center. She told me that one of the biggest problems with our world is that we don’t listen to each other. One hour a week where someone else is listening, even if they are paid to do it, can make the world of difference for someone. Another person I interviewed was Ellery Duke, a licensed psychologist and also the previous executive director at the Center. This interview gave me some more in-depth knowledge about the world of pastoral counseling. One thing in particular I learned from this conversation was his perspective on therapy, which is that each person coming into therapy is simply a fellow human just trying to survive and live their life. Every person is on a journey, and pastoral counseling helps us address whatever is limiting us from becoming who we want to be. These are just a few of the things I have learned during my time here, and all of the individuals I interviewed offered valuable bits of wisdom and advice.
The Center has given me several different opportunities to explore my own vocation,
develop professional skills, and dip my toes into the counseling field. I look forward to learning
and experiencing more as I finish out the semester.