David Low, MS PhD
I probably have more training and experience with mental health issues than most people who do spiritual counseling, and as an interfaith minister I have no prefences-- I'm not attached at all to to this or that religion, since I've benefited from almost all of them, as well as from nature etc. I'm also very enthusiastic and caring as a counselor/teacher and will go out of my way to check up on you between sessions, send you references, etc.
I also don't charge as much. That's intentional. Because they don't concern themselves as much with religion, interfaith ministers often care more about directly relieving human suffering. Because I can afford to, the way I want to do that is by bringing spiritually-oriented mental health services to those who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
Sessions always start and end with a prayer... I try to be sure the client comes away with greater sense of who they REALLY are in a profound sense, and with some kind of practice they can do enhance their own communion with Source.
It's okay--even better, I sometimes think--if you have no special spiritual connection or religous background. Who are you as a human being? What is your own unique relationship with the universe? How can that help you along with conventional counseling to address your problems? Let's discover that.
In the process or working with a client, I myself begin to more powerfully experience the same bliss and joy and I want him or her to get! A connection develops as we both seek to find our deeper selves, and a mutual energy manifests to let both of us know that we're on the right track.
Part of addressing specific mental health issues is dealing with background spiritual and philosophical issues, that we all go through as we grow up, usually without realizing it. I have a lot or enthusiasm around guiding people to the PHILOSOPHICAL INSIGHT required to no longer be victimized by their owm minds... to be able to see negative thoughts as an ordinary part of life, running across our minds without bothering us AT ALL if we have enough self-understanding! Pain can't be avoided in this world, but we can minimize and understand it.
There nothing like being there when important pracical and philosophcial issues start falling into place for clients... seeing the hard work you've BOTH been doing pay off!
Photos and videos
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I get to know them in informal convesation berfore moving onto a basic structure and format for assessing the client's issues. This always includes the question, "What is the single most important thing that I can help you with right now?" I make sure to give them (we practice it in the session) a basic relaxation techniqe if they want it, and at least one concrete homework assignment to be sure something gets done. At the end I get them to talk about how the session went for them and what parts of it they thought were or were not helpful.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
At this point, about 10 years counseling, 10 years teaching, and almost that long in full-time spiritual seeking when I could afford it. I wrote a spirituality textbook that I use for clients interested in that aspect of my work.
PhD--Religion--lots of counseling in the classroom setting, believe me!! Students often want to know how to handle their religious parents.
MS--Community Counseling; internship in substance abuse. Lots of anthropology in this curriculum, so good with indigenous / multicultural issues.
Previous licensed as NCC and will soon be so again (as LPC as well).
Certified 5-Star Dream Analysis method; practiced in Archetypal / Projective and a bit of Natural Dreamwork methods.
40 years yoga/meditation; have taught meditation courses areound Philadelphia for 20 years.
Recent courses/certifications in CBT and ACT
See spiritual and other credentials on my website, davidlowmsphd.com
Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.
I'm acutely aware that many people can't afford therapy the $175 per hour plus that some helpers charge... with that in mind, at this stage in my life I happen to be able to afford to charge less.
I can relate to wanting to "check out" a counselor by having a conversation with him or her, before committing to a whole session. On the other hand, the client wants to describe everything hoping that he'll get what he needs without a session, which I understand, but which isn'rt fair to the counselor. A happy medium on that is ONLY $30 for an initial one-hour session.
Indivdual sessions $90/hour; $120 for 90 min intake
Financial hardship: as low as $60/hour
$10-$30 per person per session for group sessions, depending if online or in person and what type of group
How did you get started in this business?
Substance abuse internship in 1985 for my Masters degree.
What types of customers have you worked with?
All kinds, over the years... lots of minorites and hispanics in substance abuse experience (as well as whites of course), some couples, and mostly white and some AAmerican women in dreamwork. Lots of college students from teaching days, as well. Most of my clients now tend to be people in their 20s and 30s dealing with anxiety AND deeper philosophical issues (again, often without realizing it).
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
The other day, a client really got how her dream was telling her to accept her daugher's choice of husband, and her own strained relationship with this son-in-law, as her karma, and not as her fault. She almost came to tears. Another recently cried for a half-hour as a result of understandings connected with doing his first meditation--on his own!--after I taught him the technique. Also, I'd have to say seeing two people rediscover how they really do love and respect each other, once you get them communicating again.
Plus, I've seen lots of CBT situations, etc. which are less dramatic but just as meaningful to clients.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?
Be sure the person is older, has a lot of spiritually-oriented life experience and is really easygoing to talk to. There's nothing worse than having someone just give you short answers to questions whidh are really important to you. If your issues involve relationships, divorce, that sort of thing, be sure that your counselor has a strong, decades-long marriage of his or her own.
What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?
I would make a list of major issues, and then break each of them down in as much detail as you can. If dreams are involved, write them out and offer to send them to the therapist ahead of time (if he or she does dreamwork). More generally, I would take the time to think through anything in your life that you have major difficulty with, even if it doesn't seem to be related to your problem situation. It probably does!!