Spiritual Direction - What it is and what it's not
What spiritual direction is
Spiritual direction is a relationship among God, the person seeking direction (“directee”), and the spiritual director. Together we create space for listening to God’s voice, as God speaks through the life of the directee, in hopeful expectation for the directee’s growth in relationship with God.
We trust in God, ever-present and immanent, as the true guide within the spiritual direction relationship.
The directee assumes responsibility for his or her own journey with God by entering freely into the spiritual direction relationship; communicating honestly with the spiritual director about those life experiences the directee chooses to share; and recognizing that spiritual direction is one part of the directee’s walk with God, which may also include private prayer, worship, confession, service, and/or other spiritual practices that may be enhanced by but are outside the particular scope of spiritual direction.
The spiritual director
The spiritual director commits to offering prayerful support both during and between spiritual direction sessions; intentional and focused listening both to God and to the directee; questions for deepening reflection, clarification, and synthesis; accountability and challenge; and unconditional acceptance. The spiritual director does not give advice, but may suggest spiritual practices or other assignments to support the growth of the directee.
What spiritual direction is not
Spiritual direction is not counseling or psychotherapy. While the spiritual direction conversation may include discussion of life issues similar to those raised in a therapuetic setting, the singular focus of spiritual direction is the directee’s spiritual life and his or her relationship with God.
Who I am as a spiritual director
I am a graduate of the two year Benedictine Spiritual Formation Program (BSFP) through the Benet Hill Monastery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
I have worked extensively with Women’s Walk with Christ, an international, inter-denominational ministry for Christian women whose mission is “Walking with women in their healing and transformation in Christ” (www.womenswalkwithchrist.org).
I have led retreats for various church communities and blog independently at blog.LivingtheTruthinLove.org. I have also blogged as a guest contributor at LoyolaPress.com.
I am an active member of a Roman Catholic parish. I receive regular spiritual direction and have an established relationship with an experienced colleague for supervision and consultation. I adhere to the Guidelines for Ethical Conduct established by Spiritual Directors International (SDIworld.org).
Time and Fees
Spiritual direction sessions typically last one hour and are scheduled, on average, once a month, subject to the needs of the directee. To respect the time of both directee and the spiritual director, sessions begin and end as scheduled. Should you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, twenty-four hours’ notice is kindly requested.
Because I understand spiritual direction as a gift from the Holy Spirit, the ability to pay a standardized fee is not a prerequisite for receiving spiritual direction. Payment arrangements are made on a case by case basis.
The spiritual direction conversation is sacred. Everything shared within spiritual direction will be held in strict confidence by the spiritual director, excepting cases where the directee threatens harm to self or others. Additionally, the spiritual director may share some information about the spiritual direction session within the context of the spiritual director’s professional supervision relationship, making every effort to protect the anonymity of the directee and the details of his or her story. The directee is free to share the content of the spritual direction conversation at her or his discretion.
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