If you’ve never heard of spiritual direction you certainly don’t know what to expect should you decide you want/need some! Those that are familiar know it’s not as scary once you’ve tried it as it seems beforehand. Truth is, there are probably as many different styles of spiritual direction as there are people practicing it.
There are generally two schools of thought and practice, each at the opposite end of the spectrum. At one end you have spiritual directors that are fairly wordy and happy to instruct and direct. They’ll be in the minority. On the other more prominent end you have those more reluctant to say too much. They prefer to ask directing questions that help you come to your own conclusions under God’s guidance. I fall somewhere between them.
I’ll admit, you’ll do a lot of the work. However, much is on your own between sessions so you don’t have to pay me for your own efforts. Consequently, I lean slightly toward the first school since I assume that the benefits of the second approach have been rung out of the specifically designed homework. Each session and person is different so strategies are altered as deemed beneficial to the situation. Long, uncomfortable, silences may occur, and they may not. But honestly, the whole thing will probably be a little unsettling anyway so awkward is to be expected!
I’ll ask you to fill out a couple pre-session forms and pay the initial fee before sitting with you, whether in person or by Skype, to see if there’s cause to begin a director/directee relationship. That’s a two-sided decision, as both parties need to feel comfortable. If we agree together to move forward I usually assign some homework, explain how to do it, and have you contact me when you’ve completed it. The dress and atmosphere is casual and the conversation is tactful and respectful yet clear, direct and appropriately frank.
If you’re an introvert like me, stepping out and using the services of a SD will be more difficult then it is for others. But the best way to learn more and get past the initial difficulty is to step up and take the plunge! I’d be honored to hear from you.