Spiritual direction is a practice which centers on holy receptivity and soul-companioning, firmly grounded in professional ethics and practical training.
My Path: I practice the ancient art of Anam Cara (“soul companion” in Gaelic), having completed formal training in the service of this vocation as a spiritual director, a practice which is grounded in the ancient Christian tradition of holy listening, and which incorporates interfaith and other spiritual paths. To this formal training I’ve melded a lifetime of intellectual exploration regarding religion, philosophy, psychology, and the arts. I also welcome and affirm those who are spiritual but not religious, or exploring other paths such as: creativity as a spiritual practice, Panentheism, and Goddess spirituality.
Anam Cara in Practice: I offer a safe, reverent, welcoming, affirming, and confidential meeting space on the Olympic Peninsula, WA, in which to explore your own spiritual questions and experiences. Some topics might include: your personal creative practice; family and personal relationships; identity issues, grief or illness; social justice concerns; work, career paths or retirement- wherever you may seek a deeper spiritual connection and desire for meaning. You may wish to focus on deepening your current prayer life or other spiritual practices, or seek new ways to explore the presence of the Divine in your life, relationships, and/or work. Spiritual direction is not about fixing, correcting or steering someone toward a particular outcome, path, or doctrine. The Divine has a thousand faces and a litany of names, and meets us where we are.
What You Should Expect from a Spiritual Director: to meet with someone who respects and honors your journey, who creates a contemplative and quiet space in which to gather, gently keeps the focus of conversation on the spiritual life as you experience and seek it, and practices complete confidentiality.
On a Practical Level: Most spiritual directors typically meet with individuals once a month, for an hour (preferably in-person, although online or phone meetings are also options if needed). As with most directors, my fees are based on standard practice with a sliding scale for those on a limited income. Payment and further details such as ethical guidelines and expectations are discussed in the initial contact.
What Spiritual Direction Is Not: Along with training and experience in the art and practice of spiritual direction, many spiritual directors have training and backgrounds in other professions or vocations. Many spiritual directors, for instance, are also clergy, but spiritual direction is not centered on theological instruction. Nor is it a form of psychotherapy, marital counseling, medical advice or life-coaching, though a spiritual director may possibly have training in one or more of these disciplines. If issues arise that pertain to areas beyond the spiritual direction context, referrals or contact information may be offered for social work issues, traditional therapy, mental or physical health concerns, legal issues, and so on.
SDI: The Professional Organization: For a comprehensive overview of spiritual direction as a concept, tradition, and living experience, visit Spiritual Directors International. SDI is the professional, umbrella organization of which I am a member. SDI also produced this important document which guides my own practice: Ethical Guidelines for Spiritual Directors (a downloadable PDF from SDI). For a helpful comparison chart on the most common differences between various pastoral or therapeutic roles, click here.
If you are interested in discussing whether spiritual direction is something that would benefit you at this time in your life, you may reach me by using the contact form below to connect with me.