Beth Newton Watson listens for a living

Friday, January 15, 2016
Beth Newton Watson (Courtesy photo)

By day, she is the director of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services at three hospitals in downtown Indianapolis. She drives happily from Greencastle every day, because this is her hometown.

She also has a private counseling practice here which has recently moved to a new office. She sees clients in Greencastle in the evenings.

Watson helps children who can't talk to their parents, teens make sense of heir parents' divorce, couples who are trying to repair their marriages, older individuals adjusting to significant changes in their lives, and people who have just always felt something was missing.

"Sometimes we do values clarification, as they figure out what matters most to them. Sometimes it is grief work from years ago. Sometimes people discover that old coping mechanisms for earlier pain don't work anymore. Sometimes parents recognize they could be doing things differently with their own children than their parents did with them, but they don't know how," says Watson.

She has also worked with survivors of suicide.

"As a survivor of my first husband's suicide, I know how essential professional counseling was to my recovery and to my ability to help our children," Watson said. "I will always see people who have experienced that kind of tragedy, and refer them when necessary to more intensive help."

Watson has also handled referrals through the years from area attorneys and several surrounding county courts. She has provided court-ordered mediation, custody evaluation, guardian ad litem work, adoptive home evaluations, supervised parenting time, among other services.

While Watson is an ordained United Methodist minister, with a Masters of Divinity degree in pastoral care and counseling, she finds that she rarely discusses religion with clients.

"We always stay within a client's own framework of belief. Many people think of themselves as more spiritual than religious these days, and need help learning to care for their own spiritual wellbeing. Some are face to face with questions about 'Life, the Universe and Everything,' and some need to ponder the ultimate question about whether they are loved or even capable of loving."

Her clients notice something else after being with her. "I have more hope. I want to see you again."

Whether in the hospital setting or in her private practice office, Watson thinks deep listening is one of the greatest healing powers in the world.

"Listening is hard work, but we can learn to do it better with each other. Listening can heal what is broken, enough for us to move on."

For appointments, Beth Newton Watson can be reached at 765-301-0087.

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