Transference in Spiritual Direction

  The psychological term transference is a concept that spiritual directors need to know and understand in order to not be derailed by it. It’s the natural, to-be-expected process by which a person seeking help in a direction relationship (or any helping relationship) transfers his or her own feelings, thoughts, impulses and fantasies about a [Read More...]

Boundaries in Spiritual Direction

Spiritual directors must be clear about limits. Boundaries are important for everyone, but for those of us in the helping professions, they are crucial. It is most important that the spiritual director know within himself or herself where those boundaries are set. A boundary is an external limit placed on a person, object, space or [Read More...]

Projection and the Spiritual Director

Because good spiritual directors do a lot of listening and very little personal sharing in a session, we sometimes become a target for other people’s projections of anxious thoughts and feelings.  Projection is a psychology term for a defense mechanism people use against their anxiety.  A common example of projection is when I am internally [Read More...]

What Spiritual Directors need to know about Psychology

HSSD Week 3 027

Spiritual direction is not psychological counseling but it helps for spiritual directors to know something about behavior, cognition and emotions—the basic focus of psychology. In technical terms, psychology is the scientific study of the human person:  our brain, senses, nerves, our development, memory, motivation, consciousness, intelligence, personality, attitudes, influence, family systems and treatments necessary for [Read More...]

Supervision for Spiritual Directors

All spiritual directors need to be in a supervision relationship. If you are doing regular spiritual direction with anyone, you need to meet on a periodic basis with an experienced spiritual director who can assist you in taking a look at what goes on inside of you as you do this work. This supervisor should [Read More...]

Self-Care for the Spiritual Director

Don’t even think about becoming a spiritual director if you are not willing to be diligent about self-care. Once you begin to hold space for other people’s spiritual questions, challenges, pain and bliss, you will notice how much you need additional time for prayer, processing and play in your own life. If you don’t become [Read More...]

Evoking not Directing

This is for those of you thinking of becoming spiritual directors but who dislike the title “spiritual director” because the verb “to direct” can imply that you have answers and are directing another person toward certain answers.  Don’t get too hung up about that one word–direct. At best, spiritual directors are directing another person’s attention [Read More...]

Am I a Spiritual Director?

Perhaps you have been reading Spiritual Direction 101 and have been wondering if you are—or could be—a spiritual director. You’ve read that training is important, advisable and enriching but since the profession is not “professionalized” (no standardized certification) training is not mandatory. You’ve read that some people fall into this work by nature of their [Read More...]

The essential practice of Radical Acceptance


One of the hardest spiritual practices in life is accepting that which we cannot change. Even in the case of events and situations that we can change, the practice of radical acceptance helps us find the patience we need while discerning and making the change. The term “radical acceptance” is used by many Buddhists to [Read More...]

The essential practice of Body Prayer

A body prayer is any prayer that incorporates movement. It can be as simple as taking a walk with the intention that your every step be a prayer. The most popular form of body prayer today is yoga. Combining breath and movement with the intention of connecting with the source of life is a powerful [Read More...]