My goal in these individual sessions aligns with my hope in small group encounters: to help another gain access to inner wisdom, to find clarity and to activate courage.
As a priest with decades of learning as a pastoral counsellor, and as a soul guide for thousands of leaders in Circles of Trust programs, I can offer a process of soulful presence and can help to 'hear another into deeper speech.'
I am grateful to share what I feel called to provide for others. Here is some clarity around how I approach these sessions with individuals. Please contact me if you would like to know more. -Dan
Anam Cara: Soulful Friendship
“One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people.”
- John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
What I offer individuals is in alignment with how I guide small groups: providing some sense of flow and rhythm, facilitation, metaphors, stories, evocative imagery, poetry and reflections on what life is revealing.
My role with another overlaps, and yet distinguishes itself from, the role of a therapist, coach or counsellor. These are all valuable ways of serving each other. Yet, the difference results from the influence of my lineage of deep attentiveness and the art of open questions, provided by my mentor and friend Parker J. Palmer and the collaborative work of The Center for Courage and Renewal.
I’m also influenced by the ancient Irish understanding of an ‘anam cara’ (literally ‘soul friend’).
An anam cara is a companion: a friend that relies on the experiences of equity, silence, wit, fierce kindness, recognition and belonging, rather than reliance on professional expertise. A soulful friendship “awakens my life in order to free the wild possibilities within me.” Friendship is grounded in mutuality and reciprocal learning. The arts of accompaniment, presence and regard are at the core of this relationship.
I am glad to schedule an initial no-cost online or phone session to consider together if we should proceed. In this session, I will provide my understanding of soulful engagement and also help discover what may be the presenting life issues.
If both of us agree to proceed, the initial commitment together is for four sessions. At the close of the fourth session, we discern together as to next steps to continue, to take a break, or to bless one another on our journeys.
Each online session lasts for 75 minutes.
A few days before each session, I prepare a brief reading that will be the initial catalyst for our consideration: the voice of the other friend who will help guide us.
I have three options for the pacing of sessions and they all have been effective:
Please contact me if you would like to consider this together or if you have any questions.