Spiritual Direction vs Therapy

Difference between therapy and spiritual direction

"Converted anxiety is hope. Anxiety is dreadful expectation; hope is expectant desire. They are like cousins to each other. Pray for the conversion of your fretful anxiety into promising hope. If you are anxious just now, you are almost already hopeful."

Br. Curtis Almquist, Society of Saint John the Evangelist daily EmailSSJE

There is sometimes confusion between the ministries of a therapist and a spiritual director. We learn early in spiritual direction training that a therapist helps people deal with life on life’s terms. A spiritual director is a caretaker of the soul, one’s connection to God. Sometimes helping people realize their connection to God can help them deal with life on life’s terms, and often learning to live with life can reconnect us to God, but it can be very different. Becoming the person God created us to be, living a connected life can sometimes make life even more difficult, more challenging. A spiritual director will listen to what is going on in a person’s life, but he or she is looking for the God connection at every pause. A therapist will be looking at every pause for ways to lead the person to find a solution or way to deal with the pain they are knowing. A spiritual director focuses on one thing, seeing God at work in that person’s life.  My favorite part of being a pediatric radiologist was caring for babies. When I meet with someone, I like to image their soul as a newborn they have offered over to me for a brief time to be cared for and nurtured and then gently returned to them wrapped in a warm blanket and resting and smiling at peace as they leave.

Joanna           joannaseibert.com