Clarifying the Spiritual Direction Relationship
by Nate Bettger
- The director serves the sole purpose of helping the directee grow in their spiritual journey. Most often this includes looking deeply into “God” images, prayer and meditation practices, experiences of presence, and relationships. Also, personality type, “soul gifts/calling,” dreams, nature experience, and community engagement.
- Spiritual direction is different than other counseling/therapy relationships… and also different than simply friendship. There is a distinct focus on supporting the directee in paying attention to the directee’s spiritual journey. Often spiritual direction is referred to as spiritual companioning, but the focus is still the same.
- It is assumed that the directee wants to go deeper and grow spiritually.
- It is assumed that the Divine|Mystery shows up in our everyday experience (the profound in the ordinary).
- It is assumed that the directee takes responsibility for his/her own spiritual growth, which is why there is a desire for spiritual direction. The spiritual director assumes the responsibility of supporting this desire which includes prayer for directees throughout the month, providing supportive tools|questions|ideas, and holding space for one-on-one conversation (every 2|3|4 weeks).
- It is assumed that all experience is valid experience and that we use the language that we know best. The director supports the directee in his/her experience and language.
- The director does not attempt or seek to “fix” the directee. The fixing comes from the directee through awareness of self and engagement with the spiritual journey and “conversation” with “the Divine.”