Rev. Bonnie Tarwater is both a spiritual director and a pastoral counselor
A Spiritual Director is a soul companion, someone who prayers for you and with you, offering time, attention and conversation in a holy close safe relationship that honors your relationship with God. This relationship may include attention to your prayer life, dream life, human relationships, your relationship with the natural world, your sexuality, health, creative work, etc.
Spiritual Direction is not therapy, although Rev. Bonnie honors the intertwining and interconnections of our spiritual and psychological souls. Like therapy, it is set up with one on one sessions for the individual or regular set times for group sessions. Rev. Bonnie has studied many religious traditions and honors all world religions and their wisdom traditions and is most familiar with the Christian traditions of spiritual formation.
She offers both individual and group spiritual direction and these session are usually about an hour and a half, about once a month put more regularly is an option. The fee is on a sliding scale and a suggested fee is $100 for a session.
Pastoral Counseling integrates religion andpsychology. Too often psychology and religion have been in conflict since the advent of psychology, a very recent discipline, only beginning just over one hundred years ago. Religion of course has been a part of human life for thousands and thousands of years. Our idolization of “science” and our dishonoring of religion in the last few hundred years has been a disaster for us as a human family and has contributed to our ecologic crisis. The advent of psychology has brought great alleviation of suffering with the talking cure and its ability to diagnose many psychological stages of development and mental illnesses. Rev. Bonnie grew up as a part of the ”psychological generation” with a father and husband who were and are psychologists as well as experiencing extensive therapy herself. She acknowledges the stupidity and harm that segregating all the academic disciplines has causes to the human soul and all life on earth. Rev. Bonnie honors the whole person who is psychological, religious and spiritual, and interconnected with all other life forms. We are now called by God to wake up to the world around us, particularly in this time of ecologic crisis and not use psychology to further self-centeredness and insensitivity to all life forms.
Churches and other religions organizationprovide needed religious values. When working with the poor or discriminated againstfor example, religious concepts of God, suffering and justice are often needed in order to heal, grow and come to terms with life and circumstances.
As a pastoral counselor Bonnie celebrates social justice work, spiritual direction, psychology, creative work, social work, guided mediations, gender issues, LGBT issues, dreams, prayer, God talk and exploration, scripture study, etc. She will explore your religious needs as well as your psychological needs. Bonnie is an experienced pastoral counselor who has been working with individuals and families in the parish church setting for almost 20 years. She has extensive experience working with issues of death and dying and physical and spiritual pain management. Her work with families has included child development, adolescent counseling, retirement and other stages of life challenges, career counseling, domestic violence and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and addictions. She specializes in relationships as spiritual practice, and is an excellent resource in assisting families in finding availablecommunity services in the San Diego area and beyond. She is available as a pastoral counseling on a sliding scale, with a suggested fee of $100 an hour.
Currently, Rev. Bonnie is a co-leader with her husband Dr. Walter Rutherford inweekly Group Therapy that meets from 5:30 pm -7 pm. The group is $200 a month. Rev. Bonnie and her husband Dr. Walt have provided pre-marital counseling and other groups together and are both certified OWL, Our Whole Lives, a faith based human sexuality program for teenagers.
Rev. Bonnie has experience doing interfaith weddings in traditional and non-traditional settings. She offers three pre-marital sessions as a part of preparing for the wedding ceremony.
She has created special rituals for people including memorials, healing from sexual abuse, adolescent coming of age ceremonies, Day of the Dead, among others, and as an artist she will work with you to create your own ritual of beauty and meaning.