What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual Direction takes place when two individuals enter into a relationship where one person acts as guide and companion for the other. The seeker intentionally engages the spiritual journey under the care and guidance of the director. As the seeker encounters the presence of the Holy, the guide compassionately observes the encounter and may offer some reflection or creative challenge for the seeker. In spiritual direction, the seeker is spiritually formed. Formation takes place as the seeker grows in relationship with God and with others.

In this creative relationship, listening to the spirit of God is a discipline and an art. The great questions of faith are engaged deeply in the presence of the Holy. Often, director and seeker examine practices of prayer and service in the world, or wrestle with the existential questions of humanity. The director and seeker hope to discern how the Holy is present in all of life.
Spiritual direction with Catherine has taught me to trust God more fully by becoming more aware of His activity and presence in my life.
        -Valerie, directee

A seeker may be nudged to look for spiritual direction in the midst of significant life changes. Exploring the spiritual dimensions of those life changes is certainly an important aspect of the journey, but these changes should not dominate the spiritual direction relationship. When such life changes tend to dominate a direction relationship, other forms of counsel may be recommended. Spiritual direction is not therapy, pastoral care or counseling. If the director discerns that the seeker is in need of therapy, pastoral care, or counseling, the director may recommend that the seeker engage a therapist or counselor before continuing with spiritual direction, or may suggest that direction and counseling be ongoing and compliment each other.

Since the stages of spiritual growth are similar in all Faiths, spiritual direction across faith traditions often serves to deepen the experience of the seeker. A seeker will not be encouraged to convert or change his/her faith tradition, but rather to deepen one’s engagement in that tradition. Some seekers may not consider themselves a member of any Faith. Although membership in a faith tradition is encouraged, it is not required.

Spiritual direction for couples is available and is an inclusive and welcoming process. Committed couples often find that they have spiritual differences: faith traditions may differ, backgrounds may be variable even within the same tradition, one person may be more intentional about the spiritual journey than the other, or faith development may be at different stages. Spiritual direction for couples may be useful in understanding how the spiritual journey effects a couple relationship or it may help to resolve questions about how to raise children in an environment of varying spiritualities.

By nature, spiritual direction is strictly private and confidential. The director is bound by a covenant of confidentiality. This means that the director will not reveal any aspect of the relationship or that the relationship even exists in any context other than supervision. Confidentiality may be breached if the director observes that the seeker is suicidal, homicidal, or a danger to him/herself or anyone else. If the director discerns a danger, the director will discuss this with the seeker immediately and, when possible, prior to contacting any outside care giver or official.