Spiritual direction is a service offered by a certified spiritual director that serves as a spiritual companion rather than instructor, coach, consultant, or therapist.
The director’s role is to facilitate a process of helping the client or directee focus on his or her relationship with God and tune into the flow and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual direction can be valuable in fostering a deeper connection with God, discerning significant life choices, or becoming aware of the spiritual in the ordinary.
Typical sessions may include conversations, silent reflection, prayer, and images from scripture with the goal of staying centered and attending to God’s movement. The process is designed to open eyes, heart, and mind to the beauty and joy of the Divine in daily life.
Spiritual Direction vs. Psychotherapy
Spiritual direction is different from traditional therapy in that spiritual direction focuses on helping the directee discern God’s voice and perceiving God in all aspects of life.
Psychotherapy is a cooperative effort between the client and therapist by which the client is an active participant engaging in problem solving, exploring new ideas, emotions, and practicing new skills.
The therapeutic process encompasses an intake evaluation, development of treatment goals, resolving symptoms, reaching and maintaining desired goals, and preparing for relapse prevention.
Spiritual Direction vs. Christian Counseling
Christian Counseling differs by being an integrative approach of therapy combining the scientific and academic underpinnings of psychotherapy, counseling, and spiritual discipline in order to address the needs, wounds, and distress of the person.
While Christian Counseling can reference scripture, use faith-based interventions, and incorporate prayer and scripture reading, the primary goal of Christian Counceling is not solely centered on encouraging the directee by paying attention to God’s personal communication.