Arden Mahlberg, PhD, Psychologist
I am currently engaged in applying psychology to social issues and spiritual integrity through writing and speaking. This is a return to working on a societal level, which I was doing before my clinical career. My psychology practice was devoted to helping individuals and couples increase their capacity for compassion and courage to live their core values more consistently. From that framework, I helped shape a group counseling practice in Madison, Wisconsin based on a therapist co-op model that allows psychotherapists to not have our work controlled by someone else’s profit motives. I have now shared this model in several psychotherapy publications.
In my counseling career, I made a significant commitment to helping the helpers. Based on extensive counseling with clergy for over 25 years, I became motivated to actively promote more comprehensive boundary keeping in church culture. Inspired by Brian McLaren’s idea that congregations be schools of love, I co-authored a resource for lay leaders and clergy on the extensive opportunities within congregational life that can better equip individuals and the church itself to be agents of justice in their everyday lives. I continue to give talks and workshops on that topic, building on the material we included in The Integrity of the Body of Christ: Boundaries as Shared Responsibility. I have also written extensively for clergy wellness publications. Along the way, I did research and writing questioning the bipolar assumption in Jungian personality theory. I also had the opportunity to test a new theory of archetypes, for which I received a Terrytown Prize.
Before deciding to work for justice work through individual counseling, I was able to work for social change in a range of activities from community organizing in South Minneapolis to writing and successfully lobbying for prisoners’ rights legislation as special staff to a state legislator. I became a trainer in nonviolent strategy and tactics as well as served on the board of an ecumenical social ministry foundation.
While I have dearly loved my counseling work with individuals and couples, I am excited to now be working for justice on a broader scale.