William K. McDonald PLC PLC Counseling Services

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Technical information

Academic degree:

M.Div (Masters of Divinity), cum laude, 1967 – Drew University, The Theological School, Madison, NJ. (beginning 1963). A fourth year of study (1966-67) was at New College, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland


LMSW (Licensed Master’s Degree Social Worker) – Clinical Specialty (by the State of Michigan).

Professional Training & Certification:

Huron Valley Institute, Ann Arbor, 1973-77; ITAA (International Transactional Analysis Association) Certified Transactional Analyst w/ Clinical Specialty (1977 to present).

Clinical experience:

Full time private practice since 1977. Reduced t o less than full-time January, 1998 through April 2003, during which time he was (part time) Priest-in-Charge of The Church of the Resurrection (Episcopal), Clarkston, Michigan. Hospital (Medical) Social Work employment, 1971-77. (Pastoral experience 1967-71.)
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The Real Person:

Bill McDonald grew up in Methodist parsonages in Colorado, North Dakota and Iowa. He describes his father as “one of the wisest cynics I have ever met.” He himself attended seminary in New Jersey and Scotland, becoming ordained as an Episcopal Priest in 1970. An overabundance of clergy at that time led him to Medical Social Work in 1971, and after clinical training, to establish his own private practice in Fenton in 1977, which he continues to this day. He has continued his church work in various part-time stints, until “kind of officially retiring” from that in 2003. But his clinical work remains his favorite.

It seems to be his nature to constantly stretch himself academically and spiritually. A great love and curiosity for the spirituality of world ethnic traditions has led him to lengthy involvement in shamanic traditions and the Native American northern woodlands traditions. He says “everywhere I go and study, opens and illuminates further depths of where I am already, here at home.” Of special interest is the initiation rituals of various cultures, and the general lack of such in our own. The work of Carl Jung becomes more and more central to his clinical work and understanding.

Bill likes private practice – it is a living example of what he considers the outcome of good psychotherapy – the ability to own and direct one’s life in concert with what is true to one’s heart.

He was married for 24 years, and then made the painful decision to divorce. He’s still not sure he fully believes in divorce, but he does believe in the courage to do what needs to be done. His two children are now around the age of 40, and are “doing very well, thank you very much.” However, any prospect of grandchildren remains elusive.

He is technically of retirement age, but loves this work too much to leave it – especially when he’s “just getting really good at it.”

One other aspect of Bill’s work is his conscious awareness of being a male counselor, especially in a profession that has become increasingly feminine. He delights in working with the inner and outer balancing of masculine and feminine energies. For this and other reasons, he also enjoys couple and marital counseling.

His life can be characterized by a line from the Ojibwa Creation Story, “Oh how happy I shall be being me!” And for his clients, he relishes the opportunity to model and guide them toward life lived to the fullest.