When people ask me that inocuous and well-meaning question, “So, what do you do?” I am immediately tongue-tied. What do I say? Well, I’m a part-time chaplain intern, itinerant Presbyterian minister, and sometimes stay-at-home mom. It’s a mouthful. But since mid-March, approximately, I have been able to add another title to the list- Staff Therapist at the Psychotherapy and Spirituality Institute. What this means is that I now offer individual and couple’s counseling (including pre-marital) at a sophisticated institute that was founded forty years ago to extend traditional psychotherapy by expanding into the realm of spirituality. It is a perfect fit for my professional degrees- MDiv and MSW, but also a perfect fit for how I understand the human endeavor. In the words of my clinical pastoral education, it mostly boils down to our search for hope, meaning and connection. Do we only find these things in religion? Absolutely not. But fluency in the language of spirituality is not a prerequisite for traditional psychotherapies, and I see that as a potential obstacle for those who think deeply about aspects of life that can only be attributed to mystery- maybe God, maybe Spirit, maybe Art. In any case, all things that I love to talk about, and learn about, and listen from.
Here’s my bio, which you can find also on PSI’s website:
The Rev. Sarah McCaslin, MDiv, LMSW, is an ordained minister and licensed social worker whose career has been devoted to fostering the human capacity for resilience, growth and meaning-making, even under the most daunting circumstances. As a pastor, chaplain, and therapist, she bears special witness to the unique stories of everyone she encounters, serving as a companion during difficult times and a supporter during moments of possibility. All these roles and opportunities have proven enriching to her as a helping professional.
At PSI, Sarah counsels individuals and couples alike. She provides premarital counseling using the Prepare/Enrich method and holds a keen interest in working with interfaith couples as they negotiate the gift and challenge of bringing and bridging distinct traditions together. In 2006, Sarah graduated with dual masters degrees from the Columbia University School of Social Work and Union Theological Seminary. Her undergraduate degree was earned from Georgetown University.
In 2007, Sarah was ordained by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and served for seven years as associate pastor at a 1200-member congregation in the West Village. Prior to starting graduate school, Sarah served the chronically, mentally ill homeless as both an outreach worker and case manager at Project Renewal, a large, homeless services organization. Today, Sarah continues to provide pastoral leadership at various Protestant congregations throughout the city as a freelance preacher. She also serves local communities of faith by facilitating and leading workshops.
Sarah can be reached at email@example.com and 212.285.0043 ext. 119. She arranges initial telephone consultations to prospective clients free of charge.