Martha Jackson Oppeneer Questions and Answers

How did you start in this profession?

In a rather roundabout manner, actually. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance, I was struck by the strong sense that I wanted/needed to do something that would make a tangible, positive difference in the world. Not knowing entirely why, I enrolled in seminary. During my first semester, I took a Pastoral Counseling course and realized I’d found my “calling.” I completed my Master of Divinity degree and served a parish for five years before returning for my doctorate in Pastoral Counseling. The rest, as they say, is history.

What do you do to maintain a sense of balance in your life?

Although I’m quite social and gregarious by nature, I also need solitude. This helps me relax, reflect, and regroup so I have more energy for others. My favorite moments of solitude come when I’m gardening, swimming, or hiking.

What do you like most about your work?

It is never boring! Every person is different, every life story is different. I remain energized and engaged by my curiosity – about how personalities are shaped; why lives take the course they do, what might help each person find wholeness and healing.

The waiting rooms at CPA are known for the various tasty treats offered. What is your favorite candy?

I’d have to say truffles. Each one is different and exciting. And, let’s be honest – chocolate IS a food group!