E-Connect Newsletter / 5.11.17
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JimGood Grief
a reflection by Jim Hayes, Executive Director

My mother, Winifred (Winnie) Grace Hayes, died April 24, 2017, after a three year dance with pancreatic cancer.

We all face death, dying, grief, and the support necessary to endure at various points in our lives. I have spent a good bit of my career walking with and counseling folks who have lost a loved one. As I recently mentioned to a colleague here at the Center, when it comes to grief there's a big difference between the theoretical and experiential. As one of my favorite writers, Flannery O'Connor, put it in one of her letters (collected in The Habit of Being), "pity the one who loves what death can touch."

It's disorienting. As much as I like my new job, I find myself regularly distracted as I think of my Mom-or my Dad who is now navigating life without his wife of 59 years. I worry. You reach out to pick up the phone and then realize it won't be answered. It hurts.

Registration open

YogaTrauma Sensitive Yoga

The goal of Trauma Sensitive Yoga is to befriend, reconnect with and feel empowered in your body. In a safe and predictable environment, you are invited to notice sensations, experiment with movement and breathing, and practice making choices about what is right for you.

Kathe Irvine, L.M.S.W.

Facilitated by Kathe Irvine, L.M.S.W., therapist at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center and trained trauma sensitive yoga provider. Kathe provides counseling and psychotherapy to individuals as well as couples and families. Kathe has a special interest in providing holistic care to resolve issues of grief, trauma, life transitions, divorce, anxiety and depression. 

Dates/Costs:  $75 for a 4 week class Thursdays June 1,8,15, & 22 / scholarships are available, please talk with your counselor or contact the instructor directly through email or by phone.

Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.

To register: Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.

Registration open

WisdomWisdom Stories: A Class for Elders in Training
a program from the Center's series on Redefining Aging

Have you ever thought about writing your personal story? Perhaps as a process of gaining greater clarity, leaving a legacy for family members or making connections with friends and peers? This six-week class will explore the process of personal autobiography. Through writing prompts, creativity exercises and personal sharing, we will discover together the wisdom that may be found in our own life experience. This class is part of the Redefining Aging initiative of the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center. It will be facilitated by Christine Dietz, Ph.D., L.I.S.W., D.Min candidate.

Christine Dietz, Ph.D., L.I.S.W.
  • June 15 - July 20, 2017
  • Thursdays / 5:30 - 7 p.m.
  • $150 tuition
  • class size will be limited to eight people
  • Register online here
Instructor: Christine Dietz, Ph.D., L.I.S.W., D.Min candidate is the Director of Clinical Training, as well as a therapist, teacher and spiritual director at Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center. She is particularly interested in how we define ourselves and grow through our stories.

Registration open

mindfulnessMBSR™ Intensive Mindfulness Training

MBSR™ is an 8-week intensive mindfulness training course that is backed by 37 years of research, proven to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Utilizing curriculum developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, the course is designed to teach    mind-body awareness and work with the effects of toxic stress. Learn to tap into your inner resources and discover the healing power of mindfulness through MBSR™.

Why do adults take this course?
Some of the major reasons why people take the MBSR™ course is job, school or family stress, chronic pain, sleeplessness, mild depression and anxiety, anger issues, grief, or  simply taking a more proactive role in greater overall health and well-being.
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Allison Peet, qualified MBSR, Instructor

  • Wednesdays: June 7 - July 26, 2017 / 1 - 3:30 p.m. (Eight total Wednesday afternoons that we meet)
  • Saturday Silent Retreat Session: July 15th 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
LOCATION: Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, 8553 Urbandale Avenue, Urbandale, IA 50322

COST: $250 per person

INSTRUCTOR:  Allison Peet is a qualified MBSR™ Instructor trained at UMass Medical Center For Mindfulness, founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn. She is trained through Mindful Schools and teaches mindfulness to youth, K-12.

supportA support group for survivors of suicide loss  
The next meeting is May 16, 2017.


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A few seats still available!

You are invited to 2017 
Women Helping Women Luncheon
Thanks to everyone who has already sent in their RSVP.

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Registration open

SpecialistPastoral Care Specialist training

Classes Begin this Fall.  This two-year course is designed for clergy, parish nurses, Stephen ministers, chaplains and others involved in pastoral care ministries. Meeting monthly, participants learn about areas critical to effective pastoral care, and receive support, encouragement and consultation on their work. Participants will reinforce what they already do well and integrate new knowledge and skills into their ministries.

Dates and time: 12 noon - 3 p.m. monthly, every second Thursday beginning September 2017 and ending June 2019 (No class July and August)

Sign up for the Center's SpiritualLeadership and Spiritual Life program newsletter

Did you know the Center has a second newsletter? 

In addition to this newsletter which focuses on clinical aspects of the Center's mission, we also issue monthly news on topics related to the Center's Leadership and Spiritual Life programs -- communicating additional opportunities for learning and growth including professional development choices for clergy and congregational leaders. 

View our latest Leadership and Spiritual Life newsletter here. The next issue will go out next week. Be the first to learn about new educational opportunities at the Center by signing up to receive this newsletter.   


Sign up to receive the Center's monthly Leadership and Spiritual Life newsletter:

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pastoralWhat is pastoral counseling? 

The Pastoral in our name is the traditional name for counseling that integrates therapy with a client's values and/or faith. It also refers to how Center counselors respectfully accompany their clients through the transitions and crises of life's journey. Center counselors seek to offer healing for the whole person and see each dimension - body, mind, and spirit - as worthy of care.


missionOur mission is to bring understanding, hope and healing to people of all ages through counseling and education.
Our key services:  

Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is a nonprofit organization  serving more than 3.700 individuals in 2016 including children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. The Center is not aligned with a particular religious group and respects the values of all.  Although best known for its 45 years of quality, professional mental health therapy, the Center is a multi-faceted organization providing a range of services:
  • Counseling, including specialized services for children and adolescents
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychological testing and assessment
  • Training for clinical professionals
  • Spiritual direction
  • Community education including suicide prevention training
  • Leadership and spiritual life programming 
  • Career Coaching
  • Conflict transformation and strategic planning services for congregations, nonprofits and businesses   / 515-274-4006
In gratitude,

Terri Mork Speirs
Director of Marketing and Communications
Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center