Cari D. Dawson

Cari D. Dawson, MTS, MA, JD is a Life counselor who draws upon her training and experience in spiritual direction, Jungian dream work, grief counseling and hospice chaplaincy. She has a depth of knowledge and resources in these areas as well as addiction counseling & teaching, and her earlier work in the corporate world and legal profession, which often come into play in the counseling session. She meets with clients in the Portland, Oregon area.


It’s About You

Cari D Dawson

What do you want? ~ a question posed to me by my spiritual director many years ago. Are you feeling like you have lost the thread of aliveness in your life? Are you overwhelmed,  immobilized, indecisive or fearful about what’s next in your life?  Poet, Mary Oliver, reminds us of the necessity of living our lives fully when she poses the poignant question, “Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Life is not a Place but a Journey, not an Answer but a Question.
What Matters?
Perhaps only Compassion & Imagination
— James Hollis

Whether you are in need of guidance & direction during a life-changing time such as the death of a loved one, divorce, career change, or mid-life exploration of existential questions; or a celebrant to officiate at a funeral, memorial service or other life transition, I will meet you where you are, drawing upon various methods, including dream work, as we delve more deeply into your needs. Regardless of your belief system, life philosophy, life style or spirituality, whether you identify with a church or faith tradition, or consider yourself agnostic or atheist, I will journey with you as a metaphorical midwife in your evolving wholeness.  I will challenge and support you as you explore living your “one wild and precious life” to its fullest potential.


My journey has taken me from my roots as a small-town Ohio teenage bride and single mother working her way through college and graduate school as a secretary, to corporate life and practicing law in the courtrooms of Miami. A profound loss in the early 1990’s summoned me to radical awareness and transformation ~ geographically, spiritually, and psychologically. I did not do this alone but sought guidance from many spiritual companions along the way. I observed and participated in awe as my journey led me to studies in grief counseling, addiction counseling, spiritual direction, Jungian psychology, and the completion of a Masters degree in theology. It was during a year-long residency preparing me to be a chaplain that I watched the threads of my life weaving a living tapestry which continues today. During the past twelve years, I have had the privilege of working with hospital and hospice patients and their families. I am grateful all the pieces of my Life--the good and not so good--and for the opportunity to share with other seekers the compassion and wisdom of of my spiritual unfolding as they choose to enlarge their lives.


For more than 45 years, I have worked in various positions in large corporations like IBM, Xerox, Liberty Mutual. I graduated from law school when I was 43 and practiced for sixteen years and taught at the college level. I've worked as a chaplain in hospitals and hospices,  facilitated groups & workshops on grief, addiction, self-care, meditation, spirituality, and dream work. My role as celebrant culminated when I officiated at the wedding of my step-granddaughter last October.  I have officiated at rituals of all kinds including funerals, memorials, weddings, and baptisms.  My recent retirement from the health care profession allows for more balance in life so that I can devote time to writing and to meeting one-to-one with individuals for grief recovery work, dream work, spiritual direction and general Life counseling and coaching in the Portland, Oregon area. 

I share some of these life experiences on a blog entitled Women Becoming Whole, but don't let the title fool you. It applies similarly to men.  Subjects that you might find relevant include: Dreams: Symbolic Guidance From the Soul , for those who are scared to death by their mistaken literal interruption of their dreams; The Soul of Dementia and Addendum which brings hope to those with loved ones who are suffering from dementia. If you are struggling with doubts and challenges to your faith, don't be alarmed: you are in good company with many of us, including the mystics. The article, God Images: Reflections & Consternations  might help.  These and many others, written by me or my co-blogger, Maureen, can be found at Women Becoming.

To see a complete list of my credentials, please click here.

© Copyright, Cari D. Dawson.  All rights reserved.
Located in Portland, OR