With 19 therapists working out of 12 churches in the greater Washington, DC, area, it can be a challenge for PC&CC/Imago Center staff members to really connect. But Beret Moyer sees this as a minor obstacle, balanced by the tremendous benefits of being in community with other like-minded counselors.
One of the most challenging aspects of working for the agency is sometimes finding time and space and clients for all of us,” she says with a laugh. “Having said that, it is gratifying that we manage all of the logistics as well as we do – and because we are pastoral counselors, we do it with respect and understanding!”
Moyer goes on to describe the environment she’s found at PC&CC/Imago Center since joining in 2006. “I love being with such talented, smart, fun, and caring people. I cannot imagine a more loving work environment,” she says. “Also, I enjoy learning about both the personal and professional challenges and triumphs of my colleagues. The center also offers trainings and opportunities to hear case studies, which help me develop my skills as a therapist.”
Most therapists will say they learned more about the therapeutic process in the counseling room than in the classroom, but Moyer explains that agency staff meetings have been a learning experience for her as well. “I have learned to look more honestly into my own reactions to my clients and their challenges,” she says. “My colleagues have helped me use that understanding as a tool for building a deeper, safer relationship with my clients.”
Moyer says her work is continually inspired by her spirituality. “I believe that God is the true healer and that through the ‘Spirit of Truth’ we see the transparency of our lives. It is through truth that God reveals to us the person that we were created to be.
“I often say that the counseling process helps us become more of who we are than we have ever been. I pray for my clients, privately, before I meet with them – and with them, if they ask, and believe that change and healing are always taking place through answered prayer, whether I see it in an obvious way or not from week to week,” she notes.
PC&CC’s new “ Imago Center” label has driven Moyer to begin describing her practice as focused on relationship counseling. “I have a heart for people who suffer from depression and are experiencing grief and loss and change.
“I believe that we often are operating from a place of woundedness and fear, which can distort our thinking about the present and even the future. If we can learn to tap into the hurt places from that past and combine that with the reality and truth of the present, then with the help of the holy, true healing can take place,” Moyer says.
Currently, Moyer is teaching a course with co-therapist Roberta Martin at All Saints Church in Chevy Chase, introducing the Imago Relationship Theory and Conscious Connection. The two also plan to co-lead a “Start Right/Stay Connected” premarital all-day seminar at All Saints after the holidays. “We both believe people are hungry to learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually with the people they love and interact with,” Moyer explains.