Brian J. Plachta, J.D., M.P.C., is an author, counselor, spiritual mentor, husband and father, and the founder of Pillars of Steel. He is also an attorney with the law firm of Plachta, Murphy & Associates, P.C., in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Brian and his wife, Denise, married for more than 29 years, have four adult children: Matthew, Daniel, Stephen and Mary Claire.
In addition to his law degree, Brian holds a Master’s in Pastoral Counseling degree and is a certified Spiritual Director/Mentor. He is a frequent workshop speaker on men’s spirituality topics for churches, spiritual life centers and men’s conferences throughout the United States. He has been interviewed by the local media on numerous occasions as an expert on men’s topics, including by The Grand Rapids Press and WGVU-FM. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Dominican Center at Marywood, an ecumenical spiritual life center in West Michigan.
Brian published the book, Pillars of Steel—How Real Men Draw Strength From Each Other, in May 2012. He also recently published his second book in 2014: Life’s Toolbox—Blueprints Included..
Brian has created and led numerous men’s spirituality workshops, including:
- Listening for God Knows What—How God Speaks to Men in Unique Ways
- Men’s Health—Finding the Wild Goose Within
- Men’s Group Spiritual Direction
- Fathered by God
- The Artist’s Way
He has also created and conducted numerous men’s retreat experiences, including:
- Journey into Nature—A Man’s Pathway Toward Hearing the Voice of God
- A Morning of Reflection and Conversation on Men’s Spirituality
Brian’s non-profit men’s ministry group, Pillars of Steel, has been recognized by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids as a vital lay ministry assisting in the development of men’s wholeness and spirituality.
Brian earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law in 1983. His Master’s in Pastoral Counseling degree was awarded by the Graduate Theological Foundation in May 2012. Brian has also completed studies as a deacon candidate through the Diocese of Grand Rapids.
A lifelong learner, he has taken ongoing theological courses at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, and at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He completed the five-year program for spiritual direction and has been certified as a Spiritual Director by the Dominican Center at Marywood. He regularly meets with men one-on-one for individual spiritual direction and facilitates several men’s group spiritual-direction circles.
Brian lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Denise, his dog Riley and his wife’s cat Rascal (Brian claims no ownership of a cat). He and his wife have just become empty-nesters, having successfully launched their fourth child into adulthood and college.