Frequently Asked Questions

About Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction 101

My approach to the work of spiritual direction.

What is Spiritual Direction?

Grounded in the belief that nature is sacred, spiritual direction is an opportunity to walk together to explore deep meaning and transformative mystery.

What is a Spiritual Director?

A spiritual director—also known as a spiritual guide, a spiritual mentor, or a spiritual companion—is a person who is professionally trained to help other people make sense of and develop their spiritual paths.

What is Spirituality?

Spirituality is the personal experience of relationship with transcendent aspects of existence.

What is Prayer?

The definition of prayer that I understand is attending to the sacred.

We each have our own beliefs, ideas, and notions of what the sacred is. This may include beliefs in deities or a single deity, energies or powers in nature or around us, or something larger than ourselves that we may not be able to explain or express.

When we attend to whatever we consider sacred, that is what prayer is to us. It may include repeated words or actions, spontaneous words and actions, sitting in silence to commune or enable the presence of the sacred, or something else where we acknowledge that which is in some way greater than us and beyond our human abilities.

Third Chair?

Spiritual Direction is sometimes symbolized by a third, or empty, chair.

This space is available for whomever or whatever a spiritual direction client brings with them into the spiritual direction relationship. While sometimes people consider this a reminder of the presence of a divine, it can also be thought of as any silent assumption or belief present in the conversation, especially those that are not named.

Do we have to believe the same things?

As a spiritual director, I do not impose my own beliefs on those with whom I spiritually companion. Beliefs and experiences are personal, and as such are respected however they manifest. In this manner, orthopraxy is healthy practice of one’s spiritual or religious practices, while orthodoxy is considered to be correct beliefs about how to live or express oneself.

I embrace orthopraxy, and reject orthodoxy, within my spiritual direction practices. I encourage people to believe whatever they wish, and in turn help support an individual’s right to practice in whatever way works best for them.

Not all belief or religious systems hold or share in the same language or expectations, and my practice of spiritual direction focuses on the individuals practices that make sense to them, and not any objective or external system of belief.

Who uses spiritual direction?

Spiritual direction is open to anyone who wants to deepen their process or making sense of the sacred. Ultimate answers, fostering a life of prayer or meditation, personal rituals connected to the gods, ancestors, or nature spirits, or the connection many of us experience or long to experience with the wonders of nature—these are all topics that those who seek spiritual direction focuses upon.

There is no single prerequisite or reason for coming to spiritual direction. If you want it, then it is for you.

What kinds of experiences do people talk about in spiritual direction?

People sometimes come to spiritual direction trying to understand the role of god or the gods in their lives, while others come because they feel called to connect with nature though that does not fit neatly into many religious traditions.

Many do not feel welcome where they are based on their developed or developing beliefs, creative approaches to spirituality, or sexual or gender identities and want to talk about life’s purpose in a safe environment free from imposed beliefs or judgments.

Still others come because they want to create their own paths related to what they believe to be the purpose of life.

Sometimes people attend because they want somebody to talk to given the challenges of living in society, such as war, political partisanship, or divisive social issues.

If we find ourselves challenged to make sense of beliefs, struggle with our internal felt sense of reality, or are searching for deep or transformative meaning, then spiritual direction may be helpful.

How are spiritual directors trained?

Most spiritual directors have been through formation and training programs. These programs vary in approaches, requirements, beliefs, length, and structure. I have completed a two year training certificate in the Spiritual Direction Program at Cherry Hill Seminary.

As a trained spiritual director, I follow all the guidance provided by Spiritual Directors International (SDI), the primary professional association in this field.

Ethics and Supervision

Spiritual directors are ethically bound to confidentiality, and I follow and uphold the Spiritual Directors International (SDI) Guidelines for Ethical Conduct. I will not disclose names or identifying information about clients I work with.

Consistent with best practices in spiritual direction, I work with both a spiritual director for my ongoing spiritual formation and also with a spiritual direction supervisor for professional guidance in my service to others.

Spiritual Direction vs. Therapy vs. Coaching

Spiritual direction shares some overlapping concerns with therapy and coaching, yet they have significant differences:

  • Spiritual direction is a ministry of walking together to explore deep meaning and transformative mystery. It is open-ended and focuses on the present into the future, especially connected to relationship and the fostering of inner peace.
  • Therapy often focuses on the past to fix the present. It focuses on fixing a brokenness in people, often in ways that does not account for belief or practices in personal transformation.
  • Coaching focuses on setting and achieving goals for the future. It is less concerned with sacred relationships or the peace that often comes with navigating personal answers to ultimate questions.

About My Spiritual Direction Services

Specifics related to my practice of spiritual direction.

How Are Sessions Structured?

My spiritual direction sessions last a full 60 minutes (hour).

My sessions frequently:

  • open with a grounding, often including some silence to compose ourselves,
  • either include a short reading of poetry or something inspirational to help focus intentions for our time together
  • or use some visual device as an omen or invitation to reflect,
  • continue with your talking about what is most present in your mind, heart, or body while I provide safe and nonjudgmental space to deeply listen,
  • pause to write or reflect as needed,
  • conclude with another brief moment or silence or words to send forth,
  • and ending with a moment to consider any follow-up scheduling.

While this is a common structure I use, it is not written in stone and we can agree on other structures such as spiritually walking together (using Zoom on a phone), engaging in the natural world, or engaging in other forms of creative expression. The importance is that this is your time to explore your spiritual needs or questions of life purpose in a focused or broad manner.

Privacy & Confidentiality

Personal things discussed in spiritual direction sessions will be maintained as private and confidential, following the professional Guidelines for Ethical Conduct as formulated by Spiritual Directors International, the primary professional association in this field.

Our Spiritual Direction Agreement

These items represent Our Spiritual Direction Agreement.

Our Relationship is based on Mutual Respect

We agree to meet regularly in a comfortable location (via Zoom, or in-person if pre-arranged) where confidentiality may be maintained for 60-minute (1-hour) sessions.

Time of Sessions and Changes

We agree to begin and end our sessions on time. A calendar invitation will be sent from the Spiritual Director regarding all scheduled appointments. If a session date and time must be changed, we agree to provide one another with 24-hour notice via email for rescheduling (emergencies notwithstanding).

Boundaries of Confidentiality

Spiritual directors are ethically bound to confidentiality, and I follow and uphold the Spiritual Directors International (SDI) Guidelines for Ethical Conduct. I will not disclose names or identifying information about clients I work with.

However, I am a mandated reporter, which means that should the Directee (client) share details of intentions to harm self or others or know of others in these types of situations, the Director will contact emergency support immediately.


Spiritual Direction, like any professional service where the practitioner has been trained and has experience in the area of practice, has actual costs. Living expenses are real, and while many spiritual directors or spiritual mentors would like to offer their services without cost for any who need it, we also have real bills to pay. I have completed two years of study in the Spiritual Direction Program at Cherry Hill Seminary and have had countless years of experience working with ecospirituality and supporting those seeking to transform their lives.

Authentic and heartful support of those who wish to work with me as a spiritual director or spiritual mentor requires I have fees in place for the service I provide. Using the guidance from the UU Scale of Fees for Professional Services and reporting from The New York Times, these are the fees I ask for my spiritual direction services:

  • Single, individual session (60 minutes) – $110.00
  • Package of 3 Sessions (60 minutes each) – $285.00 ($95/each)
  • Package of 6 Sessions (60 minutes each) – $480.00 ($80/each)

I understand not everybody can afford these fees and can offer those who work in nonprofits, NGOs, religious institutions, and educational organizations, along with those who are veterans, retired, unemployed, or students, a 25% discount on the above rates. All fees are 100% waved for students, faculty, and staff of New York University where I am a Spiritual Life Advisor through the Office of Global Spiritual Life.

Fees are paid electronically at the time of scheduling a session.

Any Other Questions?

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