e-Newsletter / 8.21.19
Jim's Blog: And The Two Shall Become One

Bernie was the spouse of Eileen Burtle, one of our retired therapists whom I consider to be one of the founders of the Center. She began her work with us in 1981, not long after the arrival of Ellery Duke and Jeff Means -- and just ahead of Jeanne Schossow. These "founders", along with others who were the first counselors and staff in the early years of the Center, did so much to set a direction, establish common values, forge a mission and care for those we serve with genuine pastoral concern...  

Laurie Betts Sloterdyk
Director of Development 
We are thrilled to welcome our new development director, Laurie Sloterdyk. We asked her to tell us more about herself and what led her to the Center. 

"I was born in Sioux City, Iowa and moved to Des Moines when I was two. I received my BS in Education from Drake University. After a few years as a special education teacher in the Norwalk school district, my husband and I started our family, which has grown to include our two daughters, one son, three sons-in-law, four granddaughters and three granddogs.

"Growing up in a philanthropic family influenced me greatly. Whether volunteering time in the schools, with Junior League, or at my church, I felt it was important to make a difference in my community. Those volunteer opportunities opened doors to working in development at the Des Moines Art Center and Planned Parenthood. I have enjoyed event planning, volunteer management and building relationships with donors in Des Moines for over 37 years. 

"In my spare time, you will find me in the kitchen cooking for friends and family. Other favorite past times include reading, enjoying music of all genres, but most of all, spending time with my strong-minded and intelligent granddaughters.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue making a difference in our community. The Center's commitment to providing hope and healing to all is important to me as we continue to advance the mission of mental health, counseling and education in Central Iowa."  

Laurie can be reached by phone: 410-274-4006, ext. 137, or email: lsloterdyk@dmpcc.org.

Billie's Blog: When Forgiveness is Hard
By Billie Wade, guest writer and PrairieFire graduate

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The power of forgiveness can transform your life. Forgiveness does not require you to be a hero; follow your heart and honor your process. Wherever you are on the forgiveness continuum, know that compassion for yourself and others paves the way to acceptance, peace of mind, gratitude, and emotional freedom....READ MORE.

You may find more of Billie's writing at www.dmpcc.org/billie  and www.billiewade.com

The Healing Journal - 5 Week Course
With Billie Wade, guest writer and PrairieFire graduate

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The Healing Journal supports you as you recover from life's  challenges, even trauma. Journaling is one of the best ways to explore emotions and feelings, sort through events and relationships, and strengthen self-awareness and problem-solving. Journaling is a useful tool whether or not used in tandem with professional counseling.

Tuesdays  1-3 PM /  September 3 - October 1, 2019

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Support group for survivors of suicide loss

The group meets every third Tuesday of the month and is facilitated by two professional counselors from the Center. All are welcome.

D iscover Your Why!  
A One-Day Workshop - October 8, 2019

"How will I go on now that this change has happened in my life?" In this workshop, participants will work together to ask and answer a different question.  "Why?" 

Discovering your personal "why" will bring clarity and impact to everything you do because it will enable you to walk in and toward your purpose.  Adapting the Simon Sinek process called Find Your Why, participants will take the journey to discover what makes them feel fulfilled and what drives their behavior when at our natural best. READ MORE.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction - MBSR™

Allison Peet - Qualified UMass MBSR Instructor
Winter 2020 Cycle:
Orientation is February 3
Class begins February 10

Mondays 9 - 11:30 a.m. or  1 - 3:30 p.m.

MBSR™ is an 8-week intensive course, backed by 40 years of research, proven to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Utilizing curriculum developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD at UMASS Center for Mindfulness, this non-clinical (i.e. not group therapy) course is designed to teach mind-body awareness, recognize and put to use our inner psychological resources to respond to toxic stress.  READ MORE.

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2018 Annual Report Summary

We gratefully acknowledge and thank all who so kindly contributed to the Center in 2018. This generosity brings hope and healing to children, teens and adults in need of high quality mental health services.


2018 service highlights include:

  • 24,000 sessions of counseling, psychiatry or psychological testing 
  • 651 children and adolescents plus their families served through C.O.O.L.™ (Children Overcoming the Obstacles in Life™)
  • 50 percent of presenting concerns include depression and anxiety
  • 1,164 hours of MBSR™ (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction™) classes 
  • 55 participants in PrairieFire™ renewal program
  • 753 hours of ASIST™ (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training)
  • 40 percent of clients access services through subsidies, thanks to generous community donors
  • 714 faith leaders participated in Clergy Boundary Trainings™
  • and more!
See our listing of generous donors, and service highlights here: www.dmpcc.org/2018AnnualReport
How to schedule a counseling appointment

To better serve our clients, we've added a new, secure online intake form.  The first step in scheduling an appointment is to help us understand your concerns by completing this brief form.
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You can change lives all year with a recurring donation.

You can save lives. With thanks to your support, the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center provides holistic, high quality counseling and education to all who enter our doors -- including children and adults from low income households. For as little as $10 per month, you can make a big impact by setting up a recurring donation. Thank you!


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 5,800 individuals annually including children, adolescents, adults, couples and families through 31 multidisciplinary clinicians. Although best known for its 47 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
  • Psychiatry (medication management)
  • Biofeedback therapy, Healing Touch and other holistic approaches
  • Training for clinical professionals
  • Leadership and spiritual life programming 
  • Career Coaching
  • Conflict transformation and strategic planning services for congregations, nonprofits and businesses
  • And so much more!
 www.dmpcc.org   / 515-274-4006
In gratitude,

Terri Speirs
Terri Mork Speirs
Director of Community Relations
Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center