Danae M. Ashley
Chief Pastoral Minister
M.Div., M.A., LMFT #LF61003278
A native of Spokane, I am an Episcopal priest who has served churches and led discernment and spiritual retreats across the United States since 2008. In helping others, I discovered that I needed to be committed to my own self-care and have been healed and supported through spiritual direction and Jungian analysis. I graduated from Adler Graduate School with a Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2014 and am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Washington State and Chief Pastoral Minister at Soul Spa Seattle, LLC. You can learn more about my therapy approach here.
I have been giving Spiritual Direction using art, music, drama, poetry, and movement since 2008 and believe that the arts are an important way to connect with God and oneself. This passion led me to learn about the Mandala Assessment Research Instrument (MARI) and I became a trained facilitator in 2012.
My love of officiating at weddings as a priest put me on the path of becoming a Prepare-Enrich facilitator in 2008, and doing pre-marital or marriage enrichment coaching with couples is a passion of mine. I also use John Gottman's book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work as well as other supplemental tools to deepen our work together. This experience is always fun -- for myself and especially the couples! I joined Dr. Tina Schermer-Sellers' Thank God for Sex team in 2015. We are devoted to healing shame and fear around human sexuality and promoting good, healthy sexual relationships. I welcome all people who are ready for self-awareness and healing--individuals, couples, and families, especially from the LGBTQ+ communities.
Care of the hearts, minds, and souls of clergy is also particular to my call. I offer a number of ways to directly assist clergy in mental and spiritual support. I developed Clergy Care Circles in 2019 to add the element of building relationships across faith traditions and denomination, in addition to deepening one's relationship with the Divine.
If you are struggling on your journey to have children, I have intimate knowledge of that struggle. I offer a variety of resources for your fertility journey here.
I look forward to supporting and encouraging you wherever you may be!
All the services I offer are grounded in a pattern of being learned from the Roman Catholic religious order of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits.) Simply put, my approach is to be a contemplative in action.
What does that mean? Being a contemplative in action in our modern world is challenging. A contemplative spends time with the internal Self and the Divine (prayer, meditation, quiet time, etc.) and then uses those insights to contribute to the community around them (action). This takes work but is endlessly rewarding. To think of it another way, we must breathe in in order to breathe out.
I am heavily influenced by the work of Carl Jung and have been trained as an Adlerian psychotherapist in Individual Psychology. Jung invites a person to plumb the depths of the psyche—the unconscious, complexes, archetypes, active imagination, and the use of dreams, mandalas, and sand tray therapy as guideposts for the interior journey. Alfred Adler encourages a person to pay attention to their whole self, asking how one can take what personal insights they receive and, in turn, contribute to the betterment of society. He called this social interest. The two approaches encapsulate Jesus’ commandment to love your neighbor as yourself as well as the motto of being a contemplative in action.
This means that the work we do together is grounded and centered through reflection and discussion, then applied to your life in practical ways.
My goal is to travel with you on your pilgrimage to deeper self-knowledge, giving you tools for healing and emotional development as you shine a light into the shadow places of the soul. This goal is the same for individuals and couples.
We work together to create for you a new, more grounded and centered life, illuminated by the discoveries through spiritual direction, individual therapy, couples' coaching, or family therapy along the way. This can be a lengthy journey or a brief one, depending on what you need in your life right now. We will create a support plan together and have regular assessments in order for you to see how you are accomplishing your goals.
I always encourage questions, so please do not hesitate to ask for any clarifications when you email or call.
If this sounds like the kind of spa your soul has been longing for, then it's time to hold fast to your courage (hurrah, you!) and contact me for an appointment.