Questions & Answers About Spiritual Direction
Why might someone seek a spiritual director?
Someone may be wondering where God is in the midst of struggles with the past or present. One might wonder how to calm their anxious soul. One may be seeking “The Still Small Voice” as they are in a process of discernment. Someone may be wondering where the Spirit is moving through a major life change. Someone may be wanting to find meaning in the seemingly ho-drum days of life.
What does a spiritual direction session look like?
A spiritual director and directee meet privately for about 50-60 minutes. The directee, not the director, takes the lead in talking about what is most on their heart and mind.
How often does one meet with a spiritual director?
It is common to meet with a spiritual director on a monthly or bi-monthly basis for as long as the directee and director feels called to meet. There may be times to meet more frequently - like every other week - if, for example, a directee is processing grief or discerning a job change.
How does one find a spiritual director?
You can find directors through organizations such as Spiritual Directors International as well as local organizations in your area. Many monasteries and retreat centers also provide spiritual direction.
Where do meetings take place?
Meetings can take place at a director’s home, on a church campus, or outside in nature, such as a park. Some directors also meet via online platforms. I meet in any of these places - whatever is most comfortable for the person.
What kind of training do spiritual directors have?
Directors typically go through a 2-3 year program where they take classes and then spend the needed number of hours under the supervision of an already trained spiritual director. I received my certificate in spiritual direction in 2010 through an organization called Stillpoint.
What is the difference between spiritual directors and counselors?
Psychologists and licensed marriage and family counselors go through a different set of training than spiritual directors, though there is some overlap. However, spiritual directors are more focused on the spiritual questions and see themselves as a “secondary player” helping you connect with God as you seek God’s love in the midst of life. Counselors and therapists, on the other hand, are “primary players” helping you work directly through your problems and might employ particular methods to help with emotional pain, trauma, mood disorders, addictions, and other diagnosable conditions.
Do I have to be a member of a certain church or have a certain faith to meet with a spiritual director?
Most commonly, directees do not need to be a member of a certain church or faith background. I will meet with people of various backgrounds, including those who feel firm in their faith and those who doubt. I am deeply rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ, but hope to be known as practicing a gracious hospitality to all, just as Jesus modeled.