Marguerite McCormack, Licensed Professional Counselor

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“The body in an expression of divinity.” marguerite mccormack

Marguerite McCormack is a consultant, trainer, and practitioner in the field of trauma. She works nationally with issues of trauma, disaster, organizational trauma dynamics, and vicarious trauma. She is the former Director of Trauma Practice at Jefferson Center for Mental Health, the former project director of Columbine Connections, the community-based response to the shootings at Columbine High School, and the former coordinator of the Student Counseling Center at the University of Colorado at Denver. She is one of the principal authors of the Colorado State Mental Health Curriculum for Intervention in Disasters, Introduction to Trauma Therapy, and Working with Children in Disasters, and Vicarious Traumatization and Burnout in First Responders.

Q. What changes are you noticing about your life and the world?

A. I am not even certain that I’m here right now. This is disquieting because I have been invested in the delusion of reality, the delusion that I am separate from God and others. My separation, and the irresponsible thoughts and actions that arose from it, have caused suffering. I now see my role as being similar to that of the psychologist in Jim Harrison’s novel Dalva. People can tear themselves apart in all the myriad of ways available to them, and it is my job to help them stop.

People are suffering from the idea of separation and it is my job to help them see past this delusion. But they must be willing to see. It’s like the old joke, “How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change.”

Q. How do you use these practices when you get out of balance?

A. As the Dalai Lama says, “My religion is kindness.” Kindness and enlightenment involve climbing back on the edge after we have fallen off. For example, yesterday, my younger son and I were criticizing each another and I was challenged not to react in anger. I stepped away, collected my heart and mind, and returned to apologize, asking, “What’s really going on here?” We must return over and over again to kindness.

For the rest of the interview, please check out the book, Seek The Lover Within: Lessons from 50 Spiritual Leaders.

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