When should I seek spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction can be helpful in a variety of contexts. It can be valuable in seasons of discernment regarding vocation or life partnership or family. It can be a helpful grounding in times of transition. It can facilitate healing and rebuilding in the aftermath of grief, loss, pain, or abuse. It can provide a safe place both to deconstruct and reconstruct faith.
Spiritual direction can be particularly important for those in helping professions (e.g. counselors, pastors and ministry leaders, medical professionals). It’s a way of filling your cup and processing the needs and experiences of others that it is your responsibility (and most often your joy!) to carry. My experience of serving in a variety of church ministry and pastoral roles over the years equips me to empathize and resonate with the unique burdens and cares connected with your role.
I am always happy to have an initial meeting so that we can decide together if spiritual direction seems a helpful practice at this point in your journey. If counseling or coaching seems more beneficial for you in the current season, I can offer referrals. And if direction seems helpful but I am not a good fit for you, I am always happy to connect you with other directors.
How often will I meet with my spiritual director?
A monthly meeting often works well. This provides space for aspects of your life that you want to reflect upon more deeply to surface between meetings. It also gives room for insights to be worked out more fully in your life. And, practically speaking, it tends to be a sustainable rhythm for most people. That said, in certain circumstances, it is helpful to meet more or less often. We can decide together what frequency is most fruitful for you in this season of your journey.
What will I talk about with my spiritual director?
We will talk about your sense of where you are, where you hope to go, where God seems to be taking you, about your sense of connection with your truest self. We’ll talk about your soul, about hope and prayer, and the holy or transcendent in your life. We’ll talk about places of fear or stuck-ness and also about areas where you see courage or kindness being manifest in your life. We might focus on your work or family or community. Other times we’ll talk about practices or readings that might be helpful. We’ll talk about what gives you life and ways you can cultivate more of it. I’ll ask about what drains you and what that might be telling you. And in the midst of talking, we’ll also practice quiet together. We’ll get comfortable with pauses and silent prayers, making time for thoughts to deepen, new questions to emerge, and for greater clarity to form. In all this, the point is to practice listening to the voice of love within while simultaneously cultivating awareness of movements of goodness and grace and Spirit around you.
I’m not sure where I stand with religion and faith. Is spiritual direction still for me?
Spiritual direction is about fostering a deeper connection with your own true self and what is good and beautiful and true in the world around you. While I approach direction through a Christian lens, I want to respect and make space for where you are in your own journey. We don’t have to be on the same page in terms of faith and theology to process aspects of life and living that matter deeply.
What is the difference between counseling and spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction has things in common with mentoring, life coaching, and counseling. All of these are about someone partnering with you to help you become the most honest and best version of yourself. But whereas the objective of counseling is greater emotional and psychological health, spiritual direction’s emphasis is wholeness and health at a soul and spirit level. (For more, see what is spiritual direction.) Counseling is best for facilitating things like healing from past wounds or trauma, offering practical relational skills, and addressing anxiety or imbalances. Direction fosters the practice of trusting your intuition and honing your ability to discern movements of life and truth and Spirit in and around you.