Episode 140 Deconstruction & Reconstruction Of Faith | How Trauma Intersects With Our Spirituality: Interview with Dawn Gabriel

Aug 30, 2023

What is the deconstruction and reconstruction of faith? How can you begin to reevaluate your beliefs in order to transform your faith and heal from trauma?

MEET Dawn Gabriel

Dawn Gabriel is the founder and CEO of Authentic Connections Counseling Center, a group practice consultant, and host of Faith Fringes podcast. She is passionate about helping people achieve freedom from what is keeping them stuck and invites others to take a non-judgemental look deeper into their spirituality and faith. Dawn has 20 years of diverse experience in the clinical mental health world and currently works with group practice owners offering consultation, spiritual direction, and soul care retreats. She believes that therapists need their own sacred place to slow down and let go of all that they hold in order to continue the transformative work with others. Dawn is a chai and wine connoisseur, a hiking trail enthusiast, a wife, and a mom of two boys who all love living and adventuring in Colorado.

Find out more at Faith Fringes and connect with Dawn on, Instagram, Facebook, and the Faith Fringes Podcast

IN THIS PODCAST:

  • What is a deconstruction of faith? 5:02
  • What is a reconstruction of faith? 12:32
  • Can having faith help you overcome trauma? 18:04

What Is A Deconstruction Of Faith?

  • The importance of finding what faith means to you
  • Giving space to clients when dealing with trauma
  • Allowing yourself to ask the questions that are meaningful to you
  • What is Prosperity Gospel?

What Is A Reconstruction Of Faith?

  • The importance of finding a supportive community
  • Allowing yourself time and flexibility when reconstructing your faith
  • How to validate faith and spirituality in your practice to help your clients
  • How to help your clients recognize where their trauma comes from

Can Having Faith Help You Overcome Trauma?

  • Understanding where your clients are starting from in their faith and spiritual journey
  • The importance of finding balance when deconstructing your faith
  • The importance of letting go of your core beliefs
  • What is a Spiritual Director?

Connect With Me

Instagram @holisticcounselingpodcast

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Sign up for my free email course: www.holisticcounselingpodcast.com

Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

The Art of Breath: How to Integrate Breathwork Techniques for Effective Therapy Sessions with Chris McDonald, LCMHCS

Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Find out more at Faith Fringes and connect with Dawn on, Instagram, Facebook, and the Faith Fringes Podcast

Transcript

Chris McDonald: Today's episode is a truly intriguing one that's bound to stir introspection and curiosity. We'll be embarking on a journey through the intricate landscapes of faith, spirituality, and the profound impact of trauma. In our quest for understanding, we often find ourselves questioning and doubting beliefs and values that have shaped our lives.

This process Known as deconstruction of faith can lead us down paths of uncertainty, but it also can open the doors of profound growth and transformation. And when these paths intersect with the experiences of trauma, the resulting landscape becomes even more intricate. So whether you're on a personal journey of self discovery of faith, searching for ways to support others in their spiritual growth, or simply seeking a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between trauma and spirituality, this episode is sure to captivate your mind and heart.

Here we go. This is Holistic Counseling, the podcast for mental health therapists who want to deepen their knowledge of holistic modalities and build their practice with confidence. I'm your host, Chris McDonald, licensed therapist. I am so glad you're here for the journey.

Welcome back to the Holistic Counseling Podcast. Today, we're going to get ready to dive into the world of deconstruction and reconstruction of faith. Where we'll uncover how trauma intersects with our spirituality and discover the profound beauty that can emerge from the process. To take us there is our guest today, Dawn Gabriel.

She has guided countless individuals through their spiritual journeys. She will shed light on how these processes can be both liberating. and challenging. She is founder and CEO of Authentic Connections Counseling Center, a group practice consultant, and host of Faith Fringes Podcast. She is passionate about helping people achieve freedom for what's keeping them stuck and invites others to take a nonjudgmental look deeper into their spirituality and faith.

Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, Dawn. Thanks,

Dawn Gabriel: Chris. I'm so excited to be here. Can

Chris McDonald: you share a little bit about your personal journey with faith and spirituality?

Dawn Gabriel: Sure. So I, let's see, I grew up in more of a conservative Bible Belt area in the Midwest and went to a Christian college, even a Christian master's program.

And then I would say in my twenties, I started deconstructing my own faith and I can explain more of what that means in a minute, but I started just questioning like, is everything I learned true? And if so, I'm not sure. I want to believe that and I was kind of angry at God for some things and went through some personal traumas.

I actually went through a divorce, which was on, you're not allowed to in the Christian faith. It was like a big sin and went through divorce and the church people were talking about it. It was like a big controversy and I even had people ask me questions like, did you pray enough or why did you go to church more like more of a to do list?

And I was like, I don't, that's not the God. I know, like that's not, I don't know if that's biblical even, I, but I think that's what sometimes churches and religions make you believe that you have to do this checklist. And so I started questioning and, and in the meantime, I actually started getting closer to God and my own relationship with him started growing while I was deconstructing my faith and religion.

And so I realized I was more deconstructing how other people did. religion. And there was a big difference for me. And so that's when I started really jumping in. And now I actually speak a lot on spirituality and soul care and just real authentic faith or spirituality. And I leave a big wide open space for people to kind of figure out their own

Chris McDonald: way.

And is that part of your private practice that you work a lot with and help clients with spirituality and faith based practice?

Dawn Gabriel: Well, my, um, I have a group practice and about a year ago I stopped seeing clients, but, um, we have that as some of it. We see clients in At any stage, no faith, any faith, it doesn't really matter, but some come who specifically want to deal with that.

And yes, that is something we specialize in. And a lot of it's just giving space for them to ask questions and for them to have a place to process where they're not being judged and they're not being shamed and they can ask the questions and wrestle and be angry if they need to and doubt. We welcome all of that.

Yeah, I think that's

Chris McDonald: great that you have that safe space for people because I think sometimes people are hesitant to bring up questions and I actually have that on my intake form. What are some questions you're not sure of with your spiritual practices or, and to me it's a nice little introduction with a new person too, to be like, you know what?

It's okay. We can talk about these things here.

Dawn Gabriel: I love that. I love that you have that in your intake. It's, it is, it just allows people, this is a space you can talk about anything. Yeah.

Chris McDonald: And I was telling Dom before we started that I didn't know what deconstruction of faith was. And I'm wondering if some of my listeners don't.

So could you share what, what does that mean? Deconstruction

Dawn Gabriel: of faith? Yeah. So a lot of times in people's faith journeys, um, usually when we're little, our parents introduce us to their own religion and faith practices. And so a lot of times kids just. do what their parents did. And then as you get older, life happens and you start realizing, wait a minute, I need to think through this.

And so deconstruction is like pulling apart the pieces of what you once knew of your faith and you start to figure it out on your own. So a lot of it includes doubting, questioning, and sometimes people go. away from their faith. And then sometimes people reconstruct their faith. And so the deconstruction process is more, I would say it's messy.

It's more the taking apart their faith and looking at it and asking, do I really want this to be my own or not? Does that help understand better?

Chris McDonald: Yeah, I think so. Cause I'm wondering too, if people are asking, like, cause I get this with a lot of my clients, like, how can there be a God if they're suffering in the world?

Like these big, big questions. And I'm wondering if, if listeners get that with some of their clients too, and, you know, really trying to, Figure out faith, especially with trauma, because I know that when bad things happen to us or our family, can you talk a little bit more about that with trauma, what you've noticed that comes up?

Dawn Gabriel: Yeah, and I would say being a therapist absolutely is another reason why I deconstructed because I did like those are big and real questions. If like trauma is the hardest thing, like why did this happen? If they say there's a loving God and he allowed this, I want no part of it. And so they attribute, yeah, it's just, I mean, trauma is so confusing and hurtful anyway.

And so a lot of times people need to ask those questions and wrestle. I wouldn't say as a therapist, it's not my place to give them the answers, but it's my place to hold that space. Well, and part of that is just allowing them to be mad to question and just in being that safe grounding for them and letting them go in.

I don't answer that, but I asked them, why don't we go into that? Why don't you ask God where he was during this trauma? And I, and the first time I did that. In a session, I was terrified because I'm like, I don't know what they're going to say. I don't know. Like what if they fall apart in front of me or yeah.

And so a lot of it is just even my own journey. I want to know why is this happening? And even in my book, I feel like I have a strong faith now, but even when my mom died, uh, let's say eight years ago, I still had to go through again, like, God, I'm pretty pissed at you. Like I prayed. And you, and you didn't answer the way I wanted you to, that's another big one.

Cause it goes long with trauma. Like we, but that's the thing. We don't, I don't believe in prosperity gospel is what it's called. Like if I do this, then God will do this. It puts us in this like bind. And so that's similar to trauma. Like when people. It doesn't mean they did anything wrong and God's punishing them.

Chris McDonald: He, I hear that too, that I must have done something wrong or in a different life or something. It's just, they take this pun. I don't know if that sometimes could be a normal response that sometimes people are, I guess they're trying to find answers in some way.

Dawn Gabriel: Yeah. And a lot of times it's, and you probably know this Chris, as being a therapist, like, is any answer going to help you?

Like, none of this is, even if we had this answer, that is not still going to be okay of why you had this traumatic experience. Like, it doesn't equal. So

Chris McDonald: did your client ask

Dawn Gabriel: God? Yeah. Yes. This is the craziest thing because I have no control over it. When I have them interact with God and enter a spiritual realm in our session, they often have found.

That God was there holding them or right there with them or weeping with them. And it was so beautiful. So, so for trauma therapists in a EMDR term, it, he got as a resource or as a grounding and a safe container. He wasn't encouraging the trauma. He was just weeping and holding them. A lot of times. I don't know.

I can't tell you a time when he wasn't honestly, when I've had, and that based, I have been trained theology, but, and that is one of the only promises that we can bank on is that we'll never be alone. Not that. our life will be perfect and work out, which is what prosperity gospel tells us. If you pray enough or if you are perfect enough, this will happen.

That's not even biblical.

Chris McDonald: Oh, it's not. Where does that come from?

Dawn Gabriel: I think people misinterpreting scripture. Oh, okay. Or like, again, religion, like do, do, do. But it's about being and like being loved and he promises he'll never leave us, he'll be with us.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. So I guess it's like connecting to that energy that he's still there.

Yeah. No matter what you're going through. Because I think we do disconnect at times, don't we? With

Dawn Gabriel: that. Well, and think of attachment theory, right? Attachment theory. Like goes into that of I feel alone, or how do I deal with not attached? And so if we can attach to a loving God, research shows if we focus on attaching to a loving God for 12 minutes a day, it changes our brainwaves.

Chris McDonald: 11 minutes.

Dawn Gabriel: Yeah. But you have to undo all the preconceived notions, like, is God loving if there's trauma? You know, it's like deep, it's deep work and you can't answer it in one session. It's like a journey.

Chris McDonald: That's true. I guess, do you, when you worked with Klaes, did you give assignments to you to, you know, really work on this and talk to God more?

Yeah.

Dawn Gabriel: I don't. I don't know if I did assignments. I did more experiential and I still do it now with consulting clients because there were a lot of therapists and on my retreats, we do a lot of, um, experiential, um, it'd be like mindfulness and guided imagery where they imagine God in that space with them.

So a lot of times in the Christian faith, I have people imagine Jesus in the room and notice what, how, when he looks at you, what is his. tone and his facial expressions. And so I have them actually enter in and experience how God loves them, not think about it because thinking isn't going to help anyone, but attaching to a loving God is.

Chris McDonald: So in the moment experiencing that, that's going to be pretty cool to, to witness that and

Dawn Gabriel: facilitate. Yeah. I used to do when I did EMDR, do you do, you do. I do brain spotting. Brain spotting. So similar, when you're doing the, the bilaterals and the people, if the people wanted to have God and spirituality in the session, I have them invite God into the memory.

And I would seriously be crying on the other end of the tappers as they were telling me what. They saw it was more powerful than anything I had seen with trauma is when they do invite God into the healing process.

Chris McDonald: I'm just thinking about that. That's, that's gotta be amazing.

Dawn Gabriel: And not just God. Like it could be like if someone had a loving presence, a different spiritual or divine being angels or yes, super powerful to engage the spirituality of that.

Yeah,

Chris McDonald: I never had heard of that. I think that could be so healing for people to have that. It's like up leveling the experience too. So how can people reconstruct their faith after something bad happens or a trauma? Yeah, I,

Dawn Gabriel: I do think, um, finding a therapist, of course, I I'm going to love therapy, but someone who specializes in it because they're not going to get the canned answers of just pray harder or just read more books.

It, they actually will journey alongside someone and have that space to do that. And like the therapist can. Model the loving acceptance and the nonjudgmental space to process that. And, and yeah, I, there's some books I can recommend. I can put them in the show notes because right now at the top of my head, they're like, yeah, that

Chris McDonald: would be great to slip.

Let me know.

Dawn Gabriel: Yeah. So sometimes I would have them read books, but journey. Alongside therapists, but also finding a community that also welcomes that. I think it's important to have a safe space of a few other people to also talk to that. Sometimes like I've, there's been couples where one is deconstructing and one isn't, and that's hard.

And so maybe talking to the couple about the one spouse who isn't to leave space for the other one to do that, maybe help educating on what that looks like. But yeah, just, I would say reconstruction is figuring out what you do believe. And it's not like, uh, in three months you'll have it reconstructed.

It's step one. It's like a journey. I had somebody I talked to on my podcast, she called it an expedition. And I loved that. Like it's an expedition. It's a journey. It's an adventure. It's not a step by step and it's, it can be, it can go all over the place. It's not going to be, be tidy.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. And I told you I had researched this a little bit before we met and I'm like, man, there is some judgment out there for deconstruction.

Like real Christians should not have questions or doubts. And, and to me that just would shut people down.

Dawn Gabriel: Yeah, like that. To me says you're a cult. If you don't allow

Chris McDonald: questioning,

Dawn Gabriel: yes, because if it's, if you're not allowed to question it, number one, first of all, I want a God who can handle anything, who can handle questions, who can handle all my messiness, all my anger, anything I bring, that's the kind of God I want.

And. if he can't handle that, like, what's the point? Because we're human. And so if we can't question and think about it, anything worth anything, you have to doubt and question. That's like a scientific method, isn't it? It is for sure. And so I think if the faith cannot stand questioning or doubting, then I would run far away.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. And that's why I think that goes back to the importance of validating, you know, if clients do bring this up. And I know some therapists aren't comfortable with spirituality in session, but just. Just allowing that safe space. You, like you said, you don't have to have all the answers for this because sometimes this can get really deep and it can be just like, you know, really strong, difficult beliefs that people might have about the world and what, how it works, the way it works, but it's just like, you don't have to know.

It's okay. I think just maybe dialing that down for therapists can be helpful. For

Dawn Gabriel: sure. And I think there, there's been even some clients with who's, who've experienced spiritual and religious abuse. And so it's another form of trauma. And so it's like being very careful. And as you enter into that, because they need, it's like light layered.

And a lot of times when I work with clients, it's more about other humans and people in. churches who have hurt them. And as we piece that out and pull it out, it's like, well, where is God? And what, what do you think God is thinking of you? And is that what you're getting is that answer from person or from God?

And so it's like, for example, I had somebody when I was doing a guided meditation, she came back and said, well, I forget, I forget exactly what she said, but she said something along, well, this is what I heard. And I was like, what kind of tone was that in? And she's like, it was. was judgmental and pressured.

And I was like, do you, where do you think that came from? And then as she realized, she was like, Oh wait, that actually wasn't from God. It was in the voice of this one person in the church that I, and so realizing like to really help them peace out what is actually they feel from God and their spirituality or what is actually from a human.

Chris McDonald: How do they do that? How would somebody decide that? Right. I think

Dawn Gabriel: again, allowing the space to question it and to, to really look, I don't know. I asked, I asked them questions and I don't tell them, but I allow them to gather that. And again, if there's abuse, it gets a little harder. And so I would recommend trauma work, like brain spotting EMDR to repair that.

And so some of that comes out in the, Bilaterals.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. So would you say this is a healthy normal process to go

Dawn Gabriel: through this? Oh, absolutely. I think at least in my experience, when I interact with someone who has deconstructed and then reconstructed, I feel like their faith and spiritual is way more robust and authentic and it's very meaningful to them.

And so it's almost more so than before. Almost

Chris McDonald: always, and that's what I wondered. Yeah. So, because it's almost just like, I just think of the therapy process. It's like similar to that. Isn't we got it? The more we can process something, the deeper we can go. And I would think that would be the same with faith and to really have a clear understanding connection somehow.

For sure. So I guess can having faith overall, do you think that can help with overcoming trauma?

Dawn Gabriel: Yes. I think when someone has, um, a grounded and healthy sense, it absolutely can, especially as a resource and just like a deep, deeper level of attunement and attachment. But again, that's if they're at a.

healthy space with their faith. If they're deconstructing or they have it, like I've had people, clients who are giving me all the fake answers, but like, I'm just going to pray more about it. And I'm going to do this and do that. And it doesn't, it's like a shallower level. And I, a lot of times that doesn't work, but if the deep level has been connected to, then it definitely has been helpful.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, I imagine so. And I, I'm sure it's, and religious trauma, you mentioned too, I'm sure that's a whole other level of trying to treat trauma and where does faith come in with that, right? That would be much more difficult to kind of assess where they are. Have they lost all their faith or is there just.

You know, a lot of hurt from

Dawn Gabriel: that. Yeah. I've seen people who are super concerned. If I deconstruct, am I going to lose God? Like, am I going to lose my faith completely? And cause that was the other thing. My first year of my podcast was about deconstructing and I had. all sorts of responses to that. And some people, I felt like I didn't want to deconstruct the whole way where I was completely not with faith at all, which some people did.

And then I didn't want to not deconstruct at all either. And so it was like, how can I deconstruct while still holding a spiritual space for myself and others? And that to me, I felt like was the balance I and was super helpful. And I think that's the thing, like, How can we journey alongside people and let them have their own without us putting our beliefs onto them, like, just let them have their process and it's going to be, it's not going to be, uh, packaged in a two month deal.

It's going to be a while. And I'm glad

Chris McDonald: you said it sounds like a continuum, right? It doesn't always have to be. It's like, if I'm deconstructing, that's it. I don't believe ever again. It doesn't have to be that way. Or, you know, that I can never have these questions. So I guess, where can we meet in the middle with this too?

And is there a way to, to be more flexible in our thinking?

Dawn Gabriel: Yeah. And I feel like even some of that flexibility lends itself to, I'm always probably going to deconstruct something like. Like I'm always, that's how my brain works. I'm always going to question, but that doesn't change my relation, my relationship with God.

It just allows me the freedom to say, Hey, I don't like this. What's going on? Like it just allows me to be real.

Chris McDonald: And that's it to be authentic and be our true core. Cause I think when we're, like you said, it could be a cult if we're not allowed to think for ourselves and question and, you know, let me think about where is this coming from?

Like, why do we have to do this? So yeah, that's, I think that's a healthier response. So what about your journey? So. When were you in that space of really deconstructing your faith?

Dawn Gabriel: Yeah, I would say when I was in my twenties, going through that divorce I mentioned in the beginning, that's when I really started because I started realizing I had certain people outside of the church that were helping me and being more kind to me during my divorce than people in the church.

And that's when I was like, this is not okay. Like I'm going to start deconstructing. And then also believing like. I want to get divorced. Does that mean I'm choosing to sin as if I was perfect and never sinned before? But anyway, so that's when I was like, wait, I need to let go of some of these beliefs.

So that was the big one. And then even fast forward when I actually got, so like I said, it's a journey and sometimes I build it back up and then I question again. Another time was when I was pregnant with my first child, my first son, I struggled with. perinatal anxiety on a major level. And this is after I'd already had my master's.

I was already a therapist working with clients and I was struggling with panic attacks on a daily, almost multiple times a day. And so I didn't understand, you know, when you're a therapist, you don't really self diagnose yourself at first. You're just going through things. And I realized I had had, um, I, I didn't realize at the time, but later I found out I had had childhood trauma that I was unresolved.

And so my sister had died 45 minutes after birth when I was three years old. And my parents said, not unknowingly, it wasn't their fault. They said, God took her to be with him in heaven. And so my little three year old brain said, God takes babies to be with him. And so when I was pregnant, I was terrified and had panic attacks daily that I was going to lose the baby, which I know a lot of women have miscarried and lost babies.

And, but for some reason that just sent me into panic. And. God and I went round like we, I was angry and I just kind of put my faith on the side and like fought with him for months. How could you do this? This is unacceptable. I don't care if pain and suffering brings us closer to you. I will not go through this.

Like I was pretty like adamant. And so I really, I had to go through my own. EMDR and trauma work as a client to just work through it myself too and realize that's not God's desire to take babies to be with him. Yeah. That makes sense

Chris McDonald: why you would have the panic if that was like the underlying memory belief.

Dawn Gabriel: Yeah. If the belief is God does this and I want no part of him, this is where we're done. And so that was a big thing for me to. But to also realize that's not what God meant and it's a core belief from when I was three, like I had to let go of that.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. Yeah. That sounds like a much deeper belief too that, you know, I think that's important for people to remember that we have to get deeper in the brain with trauma, with EMDR, our brain spotting that some of these we can talk the hell out of it, but it's not gonna, you know, you really have to work through that.

Deeper. And,

Dawn Gabriel: and because as an adult, you're not thinking like a three year old, so you, I would have never put that together until I got back into my memories and I'm like, Oh, that's a belief I never verbalized, but my body

Chris McDonald: remembered. I wonder is, is the deconstruction, could that be at any age? I'm thinking even just like children, do you, have you come across that at all?

I have

Dawn Gabriel: not personally, but I would say for children who are dealing with trauma, it would, for sure. Yeah, I imagine so. But I haven't personally, I don't really work with children, but I would say teens and above for sure. I've seen. You've seen

Chris McDonald: that too. Yeah. So it's not just usually adult.

Dawn Gabriel: No. And I would say any age and trauma usually brings it about.

Chris McDonald: That's true. Makes people question things. For sure. Like, where am I? Where am I going with this? And how to get faith back after that if you really do lose it. Yeah.

Dawn Gabriel: And some people do. They, they decide it's not for them and that's their choice, but I've seen them even come back later. I don't know. And everyone, but like, it's again.

I always say to people, it's not my job to tell you what to believe. It's my job to just sit with you. And it's, it's your relationship and your spirituality, not mine. And so I just want to journey alongside people and look at it,

Chris McDonald: examine it. Right. So what advice would you give to someone who might be just questioning their faith or maybe they're trying to rebuild their spiritual identity?

Yeah, I would,

Dawn Gabriel: I would say carve some time out for it. Like give yourself that if you're not talking with a therapist about it, like give yourself time to just question, like dive in, journal, be intentional and find friends who will give you that freedom. or find a mentor or find a spiritual director. I've been training to be a spiritual director and they hold a lot of gracious space to, to talk about God without judgment.

And so if counseling is not really the route, I would recommend a spiritual director for sure. So what's a spiritual director? Yeah. So a spiritual director is not, not a counselor, not a teacher. It really just isn't. like a person to accompany you into a spiritual place and say, what do you think? Like, what are you hearing from God?

Or if they wouldn't use the term God, even like I have, I've had people say, I don't like using the male pronoun for God. I want to use the female that's fine. Like we can, however they want, like we're going to enter into a spiritual space and See what's up. So it's a definite, the guided experiential stuff.

That's what spiritual directors do. I had

Chris McDonald: not heard that. That's very interesting. A lot of people don't. Yeah. Okay. So I know you do, um, soul care retreats. Can you talk a little more about that? Yes.

Dawn Gabriel: So I, this is my absolute passion. I hold soul care for therapist retreats. So it's exclusively for therapists just because I find, um, as a therapist, we can dive in a lot quicker and deeper and we're And the self awareness is huge.

And so we can dive in on a retreat. And so soul care retreats definitely create space as a group and solo to just really connect on a spiritual level for renewal grounding. And we have a lot of fun too. So it's not all spiritual. Although I believe. All of life can be spiritual. I know we have some similar beliefs on that, but it's, it's just a really fun retreat.

It's an, I believe in the beauty of nature. So we're in usually a forest in Colorado on in the mountains and we have hot tubs. I mean, just a lot of. really relaxing aesthetics, good food, but we do some spiritual practices. We do some workshop type stuff. Um, we do some hiking. So we kind of combine all of that.

And my next one coming up is in April 7th through 10th, 2024. That sounds

Chris McDonald: nice. Yeah. Yeah. And therapists. God knows we need as much help as we can get with those, uh, breaks and connecting with nature and spirit.

Dawn Gabriel: For sure. And I also teach a little bit on something I created called the therapist matrix, which is like an assessment tool to look at all of our roles as a therapist.

Cause I think we just hold so much responsibility with all the stories we've heard that we need a place to kind of put that on, look at it. And we kind of assess how are we doing. in all the areas of my life, including spirituality, and we kind of dive deeper into that.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. And you, I saw you also do sacred space groups.

Dawn Gabriel: So what is that? Yeah. So my sacred space groups, those are more groups that I do for three months and I get a small group of four to six therapists and And we meet every other week for three months and we do some consulting. So if it's like a group practice owner or even a private practice person just needing consulting around what do I do or not so much clinical work, but more business growing.

So we do a lot of consulting, but we also infuse spiritual practices with that. So I do a lot of the guided meditations or Lectio Divina, which is like an ancient way to read scripture in imaginative way. And so we It do that alongside the consulting. So it, it actually shows people how to integrate business and spirituality.

That's so interesting. Yeah. I imagine.

Chris McDonald: So that's the best way for listeners to find you and learn more about

Dawn Gabriel: you. Yes. So they can get ahold of me. My email is dawn at soul care for therapist. com. And then, um, my website soul care. For therapists. com and then Facebook and Instagram, Don Gabriel, or I'm still care for therapists. I kind of do both.

Chris McDonald: And your podcast too. Oh yeah. How'd you forget? How

Dawn Gabriel: did I forget my podcast? My podcast? Yes. We talk about all things like this podcast. So I'll care for therapists. Everything's under that.

Chris McDonald: There you go. And that'll be all in the show notes in case you forget, but thank you so much for coming on the podcast, Don.

This was great. Yeah. Thank you for having me, Chris. And thanks my listeners for being here and supporting the podcast. If you want to join me and other holistic therapists who are as excited about deepening their knowledge of holistic modalities as you are, come on over to my Facebook group, the holistic counseling and self care group.

And this group, you can ask those burning questions about how to integrate your modality into sessions and any other ways you need support. Go to hcpodcast. org forward slash holistic. That's hcpodcast. org forward slash holistic group. And again, this is Chris McDonald sending each one of you much light and love.

Until next time, take care.

Chris McDonald: Thanks for listening. The information in this podcast is for general educational purposes only, and it is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are giving legal financial counseling or any other kind of professional advice. If you need a professional, please find the right one for you.

The Holistic Counseling Podcast is proudly part of the Psych Craft Network.

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Self-Care for the Counselor - a holistic guide for helping professionals by Christine McDonald , MS,NCC,LPCS