What if I’m not a practicing member of a specific church?
I accept people wherever they are on their spiritual journey, so it is not necessary that you be practicing a particular religion to see me. Spiritual direction is specific to your life, so whether you are taking the first steps to learn to pray, or have been a member of a particular religion for decades, spiritual direction can be valuable to you. I am committed to providing my clients with a non-judgmental, compassionate environment to explore their personal spirituality.
What if I don’t have anything “spiritual” to talk about?
During a typical spiritual direction session, clients might share about relationships, family, choices, loss, goals, work, etc. The spiritual director’s primary task is to help you notice God’s action in “the everydayness” of life, and how you are responding to it. This may include prayer, questions of faith, concerns about your church, but also, your relationships with others; what worries you, what grieves you, and of course, what gives you deep joy and happiness. Every aspect of your life is material for spiritual direction!
How Often Do We Meet?
This will be determined by a mutual decision at our first meeting. Depending on your individual needs we can meet as often as once a week or as seldom as once every few months. For sustained growth and progress though, it is recommended that you meet with your spiritual director at least once a month. Spiritual direction can take place for just a few sessions or for many years. Others see the value of regular, ongoing feedback throughout their spiritual life. Most monthly clients maintain their sessions for at least a year.
Fees and Payment
Currently, the regular rate for a session is $50 per 50 minute session. For those who wish to enter into regular spiritual direction, there is also an option of pre-purchasing 6 sessions at $240 ($40/session). In order to provide affordable rates and to avoid the additional costs of billing, it is necessary that payment be made at the time of your session. My rate is decided by what is needed to keep Riverbend Spiritual Care practice financially sustainable, however, please do not hesitate to make an appointment because of financial difficulty. We can talk about this at our initial meeting.
This sounds like therapy.
This is a common observation, and the two often work well hand in hand. Like therapy, spiritual direction is client-centered and non-directive, that is, the spiritual director tries to draw out of you what you are being called to rather than give you advice. Emotional relief and healing are often valued effects, but spiritual direction is not therapy or mental health care. In Spiritual Direction we focus on your total spiritual formation in your day to day life.
Did you make this up?
Spiritual Direction has been around for thousands of years starting with the Desert Monastics in the early Catholic church. There are many spiritual direction training programs at universities and centers for spirituality all over the world. Today Spiritual Directors are people who
- Are trained in the spiritual life, human development, theology and scripture
- Are receiving ongoing supervision in their ministry of spiritual direction.
- Are trained in listening for the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others.
- Uphold those who they see in prayer.
- Offer a prayerful, intentional, contemplative presence for clients to explore their journey with God.
- Create a safe, confidential space to reflect on the presence of the creator in their unique life stories.
Most spiritual directors, myself included, are members of Spiritual Directors International www.sdiworld.org, which means that I adhere to their Guidelines for Ethical Conduct.