The Life Solution Center of Darien, a consortium of over 30 practices and businesses designed to treat the whole person, has some exciting news: The Reverend Greg Doll, a former pastor at the Noroton Presbyterian Church, has joined The LSCD in a new role. After serving for more than 9 years with Noroton Presbyterian, Reverend Doll is following a different path of service to the Darien community and beyond. Life Solution Center Founder and Executive Director Maud Purcell posed the following questions to Reverend Doll:
Maud: Greg, you stepped away from your work in parish ministry to pursue some rather unique opportunities.
Can you describe those?
Pastor Doll: I had been wrestling for some time with the idea of moving outside the four walls of the Church to serve the broader community. I just wasn’t sure what that could look like. It began to take shape after I spoke with you, Maud. You and I already had an excellent working relationship, having collaborated professionally for a number of years. We began to imagine what it might look like for me to bring a different type of caring support to The Life Solution Center. Your whole model is a collaborative approach to healing and care.
Maud: Can you describe what you mean by a collaborative approach
Pastor Doll: It is the idea of putting a range of caring professionals with the same goal — help, care, healing — all under one roof. For example, if someone is going through a very difficult divorce, I might be their first point of contact, walking with them through their initial grief. But I may very quickly determine that they are struggling with clinical depression and may need the services of a psychotherapist or psychopharmacologist. At some point they will also need help navigating the legal and financial bewilderment of divorce. The Life Solution Center has caring and skilled professionals in those fields (and many others) as well, ready to help.
Maud: What do you imagine your role here will be?
Pastor Doll: I currently see my role as threefold: First, that of a mentor/coach to student athletes. Many of these talented young people have private instruction to help them grow, both as athletes and as students. Increasingly I find myself being asked by parents to help their kids grow as people. I simply assist parents in helping their kids develop moral character and resilience. I realize that this is quite a sacred trust so I take it very seriously. I begin by asking the young person questions such as “what do you want your reputation to be when you walk through the doors of your high school for the very last time”? We work together on a tailor-made list of character traits they wish to develop in themselves. In my experience our collaboration can significantly affect the trajectory of their lives, and it’s an immense privilege for me.
My second client focus will be walking with people through difficult life transitions and challenges. This is part of the reason I stepped away from parish work. I was increasingly being approached by those outside the church who found themselves in very difficult places in their lives. I wanted to be more available and accessible to those who were not comfortable coming to see me in the church. I regularly speak with people who are carrying heavy emotional burdens such as relational splintering, professional pressures or terrifying problems with their children. One of the first things I tell them is that we were never designed to carry these burdens around by ourselves. We are simply not built for it. Many of these folks break down at this point, relieved to know that they aren’t alone in it. And remarkably, they all say the same thing at the end of our conversation: “I should have done this a long time ago. I feel so much better”.
My third area of care will be for those I’ve come to affectionately refer to as the “successful and the miserable.” Everything is going well for them professionally, relationally and from a health perspective — yet they are miserable and can’t figure out why. They can’t even enjoy the fruits of their labors because of the turmoil in their interior life. They desperately need “soul-tending” and I find working with them very rewarding.
Maud: I picked up on the fact that you mentioned mentoring/coaching of “student/athletes.” Do you have a background in athletics that gives you some expertise and perspective?
Pastor Doll: I definitely have a heart for the student athlete and understand the pressures associated with juggling sports and grades in this community. I think I have coached over 35 youth teams since arriving in Darien. I have also served as a special advisor to the Darien High School football team for the last 3 years. I recently transitioned to the coaching staff for the varsity this fall. I will help coach receivers. I played multiple sports in high school and played football at the University of Kentucky. I have been a guest chaplain for the NY Giants for the past 5 years and recently assumed the position of Chaplain for the new Major League Soccer team in New York City, the NYC Football Club. I have also served on the Board of Directors for the Darien Little League for the past 4-5 years. I have a great appreciation for sports and the lessons they can teach us.
Maud: The timing of you joining us couldn’t be better. The Youth Asset Survey Conducted by the Search Institute indicates that are young people are declining emotionally and behaviorally. Your work with character development in our community is a blessing and we’re delighted to have you collaborating with us at The Life Solution Center of Darien.