Spiritual Direction is a safe place to slow down, take a deep breath, turn our attention to the divine within, and be fully present and fully heard by another soul.
What is spiritual direction?
Spiritual Direction is, above all, a sacred time and space for deep listening. As a spiritual director, I provide my clients with a safe place to be fully heard without being judged, criticized, or offered advice, a place where they can be truly vulnerable if they so choose. Sometimes I may suggest a tool that has been helpful to me or others, but I always trust you (the client) will use whatever tools or ideas resonate with you and disregard the rest.
The term spiritual director in some ways is misleading, as the true director of the process is the divine within. However, as a director, I act as a gentle loving guide as you share your life journey, helping you to see more clearly where the inner divine is calling for healing, rest, a new direction, or something else.
What is a spiritual direction session like?
A spiritual direction session usually begins with a short reading or guided meditation followed by a few minutes of silence to pray, meditate, and/or become more centered and attuned to divine presence. Next, you share whatever challenges, joys, intentions, struggles, dreams, etc. you are experiencing in your life today. I will be fully present with you, only interjecting when feeling “nudged” by divine to do so. The typically hour-long session often ends with a short loving-kindness meditation to wrap-up our time together.
What is the difference between spiritual direction and counseling?
Typically counseling follows a medical model in which a professional counselor looks closely at the symptoms of the client and diagnoses her/him with a mental health disorder. Then, the counselor and the client work on developing skills which will help the client alleviate his/her symptoms and have the capacity to function in daily life with greater ease. Since counseling is considered a treatment for a health issue, insurance often covers the full or partial cost of it.
However, spiritual direction is more focused on developing the spiritual well-being of the client, including discovering meaning and purpose in the client's life. In spiritual direction the assumption is made that you already have the answers you need inside of you through divine presence (or what some may call intuition) and I simply help you to tap into that intuition to be more attuned to those answers. As a director, I encourage you to discover your own personal path in this life, living from your truest self, not just living a life that is expected of you. Insurance does not cover this process and a diagnosis is not involved (after all, we are all on a spiritual journey).
Should I substitute counseling for spiritual direction?
Since spiritual direction and counseling are two different types of services, they are not a substitute for one another. If you have specific mental health needs, counseling may be the best option for you. Some people may decide to participate in both since they meet different needs. Others may feel they do not need counseling services but simply want a companion to share their spiritual journey.
Is spiritual direction a Christian-based service?
Some spiritual direction is Christian based. However, Inner Path is open to all faith paths, including those who have little experience with spiritual matters or do not consider themselves spiritual at all. If you are feeling drawn to this experience, then it probably is for you, no matter what your spiritual beliefs. The teachings of Christ (forgiveness, compassion, non-judgment, and love) were foundational in my spiritual development, but I am open to the wisdom of many faith paths and certainly have no interest in influencing your religious views or affiliations. My intention is to help you find your own path by listening to your own personal inner divine voice. What you call that voice (God, spirit, divine presence, intuition, love etc.) is entirely up to you.
What ethical standards can I expect from spiritual direction?
Many of the same ethical standards found in counseling can be found in spiritual direction. You can expect that anything you share during spiritual direction sessions will be kept in strictest confidence as far as the law will allow and that the dignity of each client will be held sacred. Also, you can expect that I will continue to grow as a professional through continued training, personal self-care, and spiritual practices.