Spiritual Direction
A Companion for Your Spiritual Journey: Spiritual Direction

CandlesAs a Spiritual Director I offer myself as a companion for your spiritual journey—listening with you for the voice of the Holy One, helping you to reflect on how God is working in your life, and celebrating God’s love for you. During our time together I will join with you in sacred space and be spiritually present with you.  I will listen deeply and ask you questions. I have recieved my training in the sacred art of spiritual direction from the Hayden Institute.

How does Spiritual Direction work?

We meet at my home at a prearranged time, usually for one hour.  We begin by lighting a candle as we focus on our purpose, inviting God to be present with us, and gathering ourselves into the space and the moment.  Then we talk.  We engage in conversation in which I listen to you, ask questions, and offer my reflections and suggestions.  We will likely pray together too.  We meet once a month, or on another schedule if you prefer.  I will keep in strict confidence whatever you share with me.

Where do we meet?

We meet in a private room at my home or, weather permitting, in my sun porch.  My home, Cedar Hollow, is nestled in the bush on a gravel road between Guelph and Orangeville, about fifteen minutes north of Acton.  We are surrounded by trees and birds; flowers in the summer and beautiful white snow in the winter!

What about payment?

My fee varies from $20 to $80 for a one hour session.  In the first session we will discuss what fee is appropriate for you.  

Some FAQs about Spiritual Direction

How can a spiritual companion help me?
We all have a spiritual self inside of us.  Sometimes we are unaware of this spiritual self, but it is always present.  The thoughts and questions we have about the purpose of our lives, the existence and nature of God, and the origin and workings of creation all come from our spiritual place.  Deep, sometimes unexplained, feelings of joy or sorrow also come from our spiritual centre.  The spiritual self inside us waits for our attention—whether or not we pray regularly, and regardless of how we imagine God to be.  Our spiritual self merits the same kind of attention as our physical, mental and emotional selves.

Paying attention to our spirituality means being attentive to our spiritual journey.  Like any kind of journey this is a trip with starts and stops, highs and lows, side trips, and times of feeling lost.  It’s useful and fun to have a companion who will listen to our stories and help us be attuned to the suggestions of the Spirit.  Another who listens to the Spirit with us can provide helpful suggestions, different ways of looking at things, and sometimes a whole new road map.  

What is the role of the Spiritual Directee?
Our relationship will be most productive for you if you can be honest and direct with me and if you can share your thoughts and feelings—even the “bad” ones.  Often sharing between Director and Directee becomes more and more open as time goes on and trust builds.  If you are not already doing so, you may want to begin keeping a journal in which you record your thoughts, feelings, dreams and prayers.  Before coming to a session you could review your journal entries and decide what you want to talk about or how you want to begin our conversation.  During or after a session you may want to make notes about your insights or things you want to do before the next session.

Will Spiritual Direction solve my problems?  Does it replace therapy?
Spiritual direction may sometimes seem like therapy because the Spiritual Director listens carefully to what you have to say.  However, it is not therapy and does not replace therapy.  My training is in spirituality and Christian ministry.  If I think you would benefit from psychotherapy I will suggest the names of some therapists.

What I can do is listen and help you discern the presence and action of God in your situation.  This will perhaps bring a different perspective or way of thinking to what you are experiencing, or help you to approach things differently.

What about ethical issues?
I abide by the Guidelines for Ethical Conduct of Spiritual Directors International.  These Guidelines cover issues such as keeping information shared by a directee confidential, honouring the dignity of directees, and the roles of director and directee.  I will give you a copy of the Guidelines at our first appointment.

 

"As Christians, we can’t love the whole world.  But we should remember that God has placed us in a specific community at a particular time.  We’re called to love those around us.  Loving them means serving them... "

C.S. Lewis

 


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  Amy Cousineau, M. Div, M.Sc, B.A.Sc

  Anglican Priest, Diocese of Niagara
  Graduate of the Haden Institute/
  Mount Carmel Training Program for
  Spiritual Directors