About Me


Karen Bacon

In a nutshell, I am proof that dead people can live again! No, I didn’t physically die and come back to life as with an NDE.  I was simply one of those people who had died inside and then, miraculously, was “born again!”  Let me clarify that. Most my life I had struggled with a kind of mental illness. Eventually diagnosed with clinical depression and dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality), I fought (despite great inner pain) to function and appear “normal.”  I managed to marry at 18, had 2 beautiful children and eventually got a BS in clinical/community psychology.  I even helped my husband through seminary and became a United Methodist minister’s wife! However, the longer I tried to play the game of “normal,” the “crazier” I got. In the last 10 yrs. of this hellish rollercoaster ride, despite years of therapy, the self harm and suicide attempts became so extreme, I was put on heavy duty medications, repeatedly hospitalized on DID units, and even given electroshock treatments.  The next stop was death!  And then something began to change.  Though I had given up on God long ago, I began having what I called “mystical, ecstatic experiences” and before I knew it, the flames of hell had given way to heavenly bliss! My life healed and the spiritual path became my “pearl of great price!” In time, I was ordained an interfaith minister and then, in 2012, graduated as an interspiritual counselor.  And that’s it in a nutshell!
In a nutshell, I am proof that dead people can live again! No, I didn’t physically die and come back to life as with an NDE.  I was simply one of those people who had died inside and then, miraculously, was “born again!”  Let me clarify that. Most my life I had struggled with a kind of mental illness. Eventually diagnosed with clinical depression and dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality), I fought (despite great inner pain) to function and appear “normal.”  I managed to marry at 18, had 2 beautiful children and eventually got a BS in clinical/community psychology.  I even helped my husband through seminary and became a United Methodist minister’s wife! However, the longer I tried to play the game of “normal,” the “crazier” I got. In the last 10 yrs. of this hellish rollercoaster ride, despite years of therapy, the self harm and suicide attempts became so extreme, I was put on heavy duty medications, repeatedly hospitalized on DID units, and even given electroshock treatments.  The next stop was death!  And then something began to change.  Though I had given up on God long ago, I began having what I called “mystical, ecstatic experiences” and before I knew it, the flames of hell had given way to heavenly bliss! My life healed and the spiritual path became my “pearl of great price!” In time, I was ordained an interfaith minister and then, in 2012, graduated as an interspiritual counselor.  And that’s it in a nutshell!


What is Interspiritual Counseling Anyway?
By Karen Bacon   Certified InterSpiritual Counselor
        Ordained Interfaith Minister

Most people are familiar with the concept of counseling, but few have ever heard the word “interspiritual” used to describe it.  This term was coined by Brother Wayne Teasdale, a lay monk at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, in his classic book, “The Mystic Heart.”  It refers to the perspective that there is a degree of commonality in the world religions that is experienced at the deepest spiritual levels called mysticism.   This is where the superficial differences and labels that separate people fall away to reveal the deeper heart in all religions.  At this level human beings experience communion with God, oneness with all, unconditional love, and the “peace that passes all understanding.”  It is from this unitive perspective that Interspiritual Counseling (ISC) welcomes people from all spiritual paths.
Traditionally called Spiritual Direction or Spiritual Companioning, ISC is a listening profession (and yes, I do charge a small fee - $25/hr.).  But, unlike psychotherapy, it does not focus on either the diagnosis or treatment of pathology.  It is not about “fixing” someone who is broken.  Rather, each person is considered already to be a complete, holy, and divine child of God whose essence is goodness, power, wisdom, and, most of all, love.  True, a person may experience themselves as broken, but their deeper reality has only been hidden - forgotten. They are (as we all are) on a journey to remember the truth of who they really are, and to, once again, experience their connection with the Source of all creation.
This is the spiritual adventure.  It is life with all its twists and turns.  At times the journey can become difficult or painful and it is helpful to have a companion who can act as a guide and source of support.  It is especially useful if that helping person is a seasoned “traveler” and familiar with the territory of spiritual healing and growth.  That is how an interspiritual counselor can serve – as one whose first priority and focus is the counselees’ journey, one who has learned to watch for the flow of Spirit in that person’s life and where it might be calling them.
This watching for God’s “input” is also a quality unique to the profession of interspiritual counseling.  In ISC it is a given that Spirit is present and actively involved in each person’s life including our time together.  For that reason, I attend to such things as dreams, synchronicity, intuitive nudges, recurring or unusual images, symbolic roadblocks, or the body’s language of pain or tension. Staying open to such guidance is essential because, in the end, I do not know the soul’s agenda for another.  I must follow where I am led.  Ultimately, the answers reside deep within the counselee and, with patience, persistence and compassion, clarity can be found. So together, the counselee and I dance with God, playing with the possibilities that arise while listening always for the song of the soul to show us the way.
At this point, you may be wondering what kinds of questions and issues people actually bring to ISC.  And the answer is, as many kinds as there are people.  All of life is part of the spiritual path – and anything that blocks one’s experience of peace, love and joy is something  that needs attention.  Therefore, the kinds of issues brought in may range from  struggles with faith, or a desire to deepen one’s connection to God, to struggles with painful relationships, self esteem or life purpose.  Essentially all life’s challenges are opportunities for spiritual healing and growth.

Interspiritual counseling provides a safe space for exploring these challenges/opportunities.  It is a private space where a person can share their questions and their pain in the presence of a caring person.  This “presence”  provides one of the most important and healing gifts ISC has to offer.  To be present is to be there fully for another, seeing them with the eyes of compassion and hearing their story with understanding.  For me, acting as such a witness and “midwife” in the unfolding of another’s soul journey is a sacred privilege and an honor.   It is the way of love and is holy ground - and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this way.

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