Archive for Information & Referrals

Mystickal Voyage Holistic and Yoga Center Opens

What does this have to do with Pagan therapy you may ask?  Other than me now having Saturday office hours there?  Well,  Mystickal Voyage is Pagan-owned – making it one of rather few holistic centers to have that distinction.

It’s really nice office space and I always run into interesting people there.  They have amazing classroom space, yoga space, a large store, and a coffee shop too.  Check them out if you are in the White Marsh, MD area.

More info at:

They recently bought some of my wife’s artwork for resale too!  More on her wonderful digital colleague and altar box construction at


Financial Counseling Service

From time to time I look (usually in vain) for financial counseling services to refer my clients to. Some of them are very expensive, others require ALL credit cards to be cut up, and others you wonder how much they are working for the credit industry versus the consumer. All in all, not an inspiring situation.

I have a friend who used to do excellent quality financial counseling as a senior manager with a financial counseling firm in Frederick, MD for many years before he moved to London. Before that he was an investigator and collections expert for a law firm, so he knows what’s he’s doing. He now works for Myvesta — a financial service company that helps people get back on their feet and otherwise manage difficult financial situations.

I just found out that he still does financial counseling in the United States via Myvesta’s service at There is a requested donation for the service, but it is voluntary and you can donate whatever you can afford.

He says “Once I am notified they have signed up, I will email them for details of how and when to phone them and their circumstance, we schedule a time to speak and the counseling is done via the phone, in most instances in 1 call with some email follow-up.”

This makes it sound like he’s the one counselor, but if you try this I’d specifically ask for Jon Emge to make sure you get him.

If you try Myvesta’s financial counseling service, please write me back and let me know what you think of their service.

I know this sounds like a paid commerical endorsement — it’s not. I’m just happy to have what looks to be a good referral option for clients in financial difficulty.




Clergy Counseling Limits & When to Refer

Below is a snippet from a clergy ethics lecture I did for the WABAPLC (Washington-Baltimore Area Pagan Leadership Conference) February 2007 conference.   The topic concerns when Pagan clergy can handle counseling matters themselves and when they should refer out.  Two primary points are made:

  1. Clergy should refer out to professional counselors when beyond their training expertise, and
  2. clergy are on safer legal ground if they stick to spiritual counseling. (consult your own attorney — not legal advice)

What are your thoughts on the guidelines below?  What other considerations are needed? 


Licenses & Counseling Limits

Psychological counseling is licensed (in Maryland and most of USA).  Usually breaking law without a license to practice.

However, you CAN do spiritual counseling. In general, spiritual and religious counseling seems to be an assumed right of clergy, but rarely ever spelled out in law.  [This document is written from a Maryland point of view.  However I believe this to be generally true.]

Then again, are you legally clergy?

The borderline between spiritual and psychological counseling is unclear.

Refer client to a professional counselor for psychological counseling when:

  • Emotional abnormalities
  • In-depth childhood trauma background
  • Psychological problems, hallucinations, delusions, etc.
  • Consider the “3 times then refer” rule. (Not legal advice) [This rule-of-thumb is that if you find yourself counseling the same person three times about the same non-spiritual counseling issue, it’s safest to refer out to a licensed counselor at that point to not run afoul of licensing laws.]

When Doing Spiritual Counseling:

  • Ask yourself “does the person need spiritual counseling?”
  • Always tie your counseling to spiritual matters
  • Have a spiritual counseling framework
  • Make it a point to study spiritual needs and what you Tradition says about this
  • Highfield & Cason’s four spiritual needs model
    • Need for Meaning & Purpose
    • Need to Give Love
    • Need to Receive Love
    • Need for Hope and Creative Expression

Highfield & Cason’s model — while it can be used in a more in-depth way — is a good “back of the napkin” checklist.  That is, you can easily listen to the content and emotion of the person talking to you to detect strengths and deficits in the above four areas.  These then provide a rough roadmap to spiritual counseling.  Clergy will want to read-up on this and other spiritual counseling models.

Comments (1)

Helping Child “Witches” in Africa

I’m pulling this entry directly off Angela’s blog.  The kids need counseling and they are considered Pagan… so it’s vaguely on topic I guess, but more importantly it would just be a good thing to help out with:

I keep reading the stories about children in the Congo and Nigeria who are abandoned, beaten, and killed after being accused of being witches. It breaks my heart every time — to the point where I am shaking. I finally found an organization that is specifically working to help these kids. I am going to donate, and I hope you will too. — Angela

Stepping Stones Nigeria

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DC and Maryland Among Best Depression and Suicide Rates

Ranking America’s Mental Health: An Analysis of Depression Across the States

Believe it or not, the District of Columbia recently ranked as having the lowest suidide rate.  It was #23 in terms of rate of depression (#1 being best).  Maryland had the 5th lowest rate of depression and 8th lowest suicide rate.

Something is going right around here.   The ACA (American Counseling Association) credits access to mental health professionals and health benefits.



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