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An Interview with Michelle Watters, Director of Spiritual and Health Integration

August 28, 2014

Tell us about your education and past work experience.

I have been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor for 15 years, providing therapy to individuals and families on an outpatient basis.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and have previously been employed as a Youth Minister and Campus Minister.  Additionally, I am a Certified and Registered Yoga Teacher and have been teaching yoga for almost 5 years.

What is your focus at Hillcrest? 

My focus is to provide spiritual opportunities for clients and staff in an effort to incorporate spirituality as a component of healing.  I like to incorporate body-mind-spirit wellness for in the lives of staff and clients.

What excites you about working with the clients?

I provide supervision of our chaplains who serve our client’s spiritual needs directly. Our chaplains have a lot of excitement about the work that they do. They are being stretched to think outside of the box and to meet people where they are at on their spiritual journey.

Tell me a story about your experience with one or two clients.

I was staffing a booth at the United Methodist Church Annual Conference when a woman came up to the booth. She looked very interested in the information at the booth, but very reluctant to speak to me. As I engaged her in conversation, she shared with me that she was a child who was adopted from Hillcrest many decades ago. Tears welled in her eyes as she shared with me that she had moved out of state but has recently returned to the area because it feels like home. This experience was powerful as I realized the impact Hillcrest had on her life.

Where do you see the Chaplaincy program going in the future?

We have many dreams for the future of Spiritual Health and Integration at Hillcrest. We hope to expand our staff and our outreach to all of Hillcrests programs, and we hope to become a spiritual resource for the broader community.