E-Connect Newsletter / 2.16.17
Hope is the thing with feathers

How do we manage anxiety and fear during uncertain times? Jim Hayes, the Center's executive director, offers a reflection on hope.


"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul..."

So begins the poem of Emily Dickinson on hope. The poor bird is abashed by chill and storm and somehow perseveres.

Hope has often been on my mind of late. We have had many discussions as a staff about how to live our mission of hope and healing in an age of turmoil. For many, the current social and political context, along with the accompanying shouting, has ratcheted up the anxiety levels of many of our clients who already struggle with heightened emotions. They are not alone. Others experience emotional intensity by holding feelings back-not wanting to risk exhibition of feelings or thoughts for fear that they will be judged. If the mission of the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is to bring hope and healing through counseling and education, what is our role in this age of turmoil? Such storms threaten to blow the feathers right off us!
Health Tip - Valentine's Day Special
Healthy Relationship Tips for Couples

By Sarah McElhaney, L.M.F.T., licensed marriage and family therapist at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

February 2017 - The relationship with your partner could be one of the most important in your life, yet it is too easy to forget how vital it is to nurture the relationship daily. In the season of hearts and roses as symbols of love, I'd like to offer the following practical tips on how couples may improve their relationship, and overall quality of life.

More health tips from the Center here: 

Register now for our new class,  Being Mortal: How Then Shall We Live? 

Kathy Reardon, R.N., M.S., Spiritual Director, Educator and Holistic Nurse
Kathy Reardon, R.N., M.S., is a Spiritual Director, Educator and Holistic Nurse at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center. She uses holistic approaches to help her clients grow in self-responsibility, empowered well-bing and wholeness. 

Kathy writes: 
We are mortal beings. We will someday die. There is actually a great freedom that comes from this recognition once we accept it.  We can begin to look at our lives as they are and become intentional in living our best and fullest possible lives while we can.  Do you wish to be a part of an exploration of this topic?  Then you are invited to register for this series.


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Please help us spread the word about the Center's new support group for survivors of suicide loss

The Center is starting a new support group for survivors of suicide loss, no matter how long ago your loss occurred. 
  • Third Tuesdays Monthly - next meeting is February 21, 2017
  • 7-8:30 p.m.
  • at the Center, 8553 Urbandale Avenue, Des Moines, IA
  • facilitated by Center clinicians
  • no need to RSVP, just come

More information, including a printer-friendly flyer here.

Register now for our trauma sensitive yoga group

Kathe Irvine, L.M.S.W.
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.

Register online now for trauma sensitive yoga, 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. 

More classes and events from the Center here: 

COOL - Children Overcoming the Obstacles of Life

We are pleased to offer this classic piece by Grace Percival, co-founder of the Center's COOL practice (Children Overcoming the Obstacles of Life), and former COOL counselor.

Children are born with varying degrees of potential for growth - physically, cognitively, emotionally, and relationally. They rely on and look to the adults in their environment to not only keep them safe, but to help in the monumental and awesome task of realizing their potential to understand and integrate the world around them.

They are eager to connect and to please. They are eager to develop relationship. It is what they are born to do.

I am on the floor in the children's waiting room at the Center picking up some toys and I notice an eight-year-old boy several feet away intently building with Lego blocks.


Save the Date: May 19, 2017
    • 19th Annual Women Helping Women Luncheon
    • Embassy Suites downtown Des Moines
    • Benefiting vulnerable girls and women who need quality mental health counseling 
    • Speaker and honoree to be announced soon!
2017 Women Helping Women Committee_ an energic and creative group of people who care

The 2017 Women Helping Women planning committee, co-chaired by Jann Freed and Anne Kelly

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Sign up to receive the speaker announcement as soon as it's released.
Sign up for the Center's Leadership 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. 



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

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What is pastoral counseling? 

Pastoral counseling is psychotherapy that takes seriously the spiritual dimension of a person while working with individuals, couples, and families to resolve emotional or relational problems. Pastoral counseling is built on the belief that life's crises and transitions are best met by the knowledge of psychology and the wisdom of theology, with respect for a person's faith background and values. However, only if a client so chooses will Center counselors directly address specific spiritual issues.

Coming soon. . .

Please watch for our new informational series on men's mental health. Coming soon!

Our 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, nonsectarian organization  serving more than 4,000 individuals annually including children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. Although best known for its 44 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
  • Psychological testing and assessment
  • Psychiatric consultation and care
  • Training for clinical professionals
  • Leadership and spiritual life programming 
  • Career Coaching
  • Conflict transformation and strategic planning services for congregations, nonprofits and businesses
 www.dmpcc.org   / 515-274-4006
In gratitude,

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