What is the Experience Like?
One-on-One Spiritual Direction
A person seeking spiritual direction, often called a “directee,” will meet with their spiritual director about once per month. This frequency can vary based on individual needs. Your monthly session will generally be one hour long, although some spiritual directors may use a 90-minute meeting format. Most meetings take place in person, in the spiritual director’s office. Some directors also work by phone or video/chat services.
You decide what to share during the meeting. It might be a current challenge or concern, or a desire to move in a new direction. Any aspect of your life can be the topic of spiritual reflection.
Spiritual directors will listen deeply to you. They may ask you questions, and reflect back to you what they hear and observe. Some directors use methods beyond conversation, for example, guided meditation or simple art making. But their intention is always to companion you rather than tell you what to do or give you advice.
Group Spiritual Direction
Group spiritual direction takes place in very small groups of participants, with one trained spiritual director who serves as the facilitator. Unlike one-on-one direction, the group itself functions as the director. Meetings last 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Group spiritual direction can offer deep spiritual intimacy with others and the reassurance that others face the same spiritual challenges as we ourselves face. The group setting can also provide a cost-effective means of obtaining spiritual direction.
"Spiritual direction is like panning for gold. A directee comes and together we dip into the stream of their life and pull up all kinds of things. Rocks of all sizes-- I can never guess what's coming up next-- all kinds of conflicts and problems, then all of the sudden some fleck or nugget of pure gold emerges into view in the bottom of the pan as we swirl the water around, emptying out the rocks."
Janet Ruffing, Spiritual Direction: Beyond the Beginnings