What do fly fishing, riding a motorcycle, and yoga have in common? Executive Director Dr. Carl Siegel.
When asked about his eclectic list of hobbies, Siegel notes that each of these activities teaches him about rhythm, balance, and timing. “Those are incredibly important life skills and are also important for the therapeutic process,” he says.
Siegel should know much about balance and timing. He has served as PC&CC’s executive director for the last four years, while also presenting weekend Imago Relationship workshops and working with his own client caseload. He thinks it is important for PC&CC to reach out in varied ways because of the agency’s unique role as a supportive force in the nation’s capitol.
“We do work with a lot of people who make very important decisions,” he explains. “Part of our role is to support those people, help them get into a healthy place, where they can make good, sound decisions for the good of the larger community.”
Siegel has been a therapist with PC&CC since 1990 and has witnessed the agency’s identity evolve into a counseling community with an emphasis on Imago Relationship Therapy. “That’s where our passion is and what we’re dedicated to. So we have decided to make Imago our articulated vision of who we are,” he says. “It’s really exciting. We’re really in a good place.”
Although PC&CC staff members work with individuals as well as couples, Siegel notes that our therapists operate from a relational perspective within that work. “Imago works. It helps me in my own relationship. As a therapist, I feel, it’s fun work to do,” he says. “One of the underlying values of Imago is that we all really have to practice what we preach in our relationships. The things that we ask our couples to do are things that we’ve done ourselves, or are trying to do ourselves. It can be humbling, but also gives us even more compassion and respect for our clients.
Siegel says he truly enjoys showing how the structured Imago process can help couples dealing with volatile issues. “Giving people a safe way to talk about the things that are the most difficult for them is so valuable,” he explains.
A supportive counseling community is something that Siegel has strived to inspire at PC&CC. “I have tremendous confidence in our staff. We have a supportive community within our group and are available to each other. When people come to see us, you’re getting not only the wisdom of the therapist you’re seeing, but also the collective experience of the whole group. We help each other and walk this path together,” he notes.
In addition to his Imago workshop presentations, Siegel is co-leading a biweekly Men in Transition therapy group, a biweekly Imago group for couples, and a Lenten education course on “Couplehood as a Spiritual Path.”