I want to emphasize that spiritual direction does not replace counseling for grief recovery. Counseling
is a very important part of the healing process for many people.
I entered the two-year training program to receive my Masters in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual
This site leans more toward spiritual elements of the grief journey because I am trained
spiritual director. So I will naturally function more out of that training and passion.
There has been much study and writing available on the psychological elements of grief but spiritual
direction is much less known (although it is rapidly growing), so I will offer space for it here.
Regularly receive direction as part of the grief journey can aid in healing. It is not uncommon
for people to have many spiritually-based struggles as a result of a major loss. Having someone to sit with and explore the
spiritual elements of the grief journey can be very helpful.
Understanding Spiritual Direction
To understand what direction is it may help to compare it to meeting with a counselor. When a person
meets with a counselor, the two of them talk together to name a problem, explore it's development, and try to come up with
ways the client can work to solve the problem. The counselor offers advice from their years of psychological study and expertise.
Spiritual directors are not considered experts in religion or spirituality. Historically it was largely
monks, nuns, and priests who served in this role. But these days anyone who considers their spiritual journey an important
part of their life and passion is eligible to train to become directors.
Another difference is that the conversation with a director does not focus on a problem. The conversation
focuses on the directee's relationship with God or their concept of the Divine. They explore the directee's image of God,
how he or she relates to God, and how God is present to the directee in daily life. If you have read much on this site, you
have probably come across a few places where reflection questions are offered. Almost all of these are the type of questions
a director would typically ask a directee.
Directors have been called the "midwife of the soul." They sit with a person to guide and assist in
the process of the spiritual birthing taking place in the directee's life.
Most directors are trained to be able to give direction to people from any denomination or religious
background. Direction is not about convincing someone to change their own theology. It is about finding out how God is working
and being revealed in the directee.