What is spiritual direction?
Within each of us lies the desire to find meaning beyond the moment, to discover our true selves, and to grow closer to the sacred and one another. A spiritual director can help you satisfy that longing.
Spiritual direction is a privileged time and space to reflect with another about your spiritual life. It is the art of sacred listening carried out in the context of a one-to-one trusting relationship. A spiritual director “companions” you in uncovering God’s presence in your life. As a process, spiritual direction involved slowing down, being quiet, and learning to tune into the guidance of a divine spirit within.
We live in a society that is fast-paced, noisy, competitive, and driven by consumerism and other false gods. We live in times of conflict and war, both internally and in the world around us. In the midst of all this, we are a people hungering to make sense of our lives and to find meaning and hope.
Spiritual direction is a time for you to confidentially share and reflect in the presence of a trained and experienced guide. The goal is to help you discern how God is at work in your life and to come home to your truest self.
Is spiritual direction faith-based?
Spiritual direction is really not about being “directed.” Rather, it is much about being encouraged to draw closer to all that is holy in your life. Spiritual direction invites you into this relationship whether you attend a church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or none of these. Spiritual direction might be more about wrestling with questions, rather than offering pat answers. Spiritual directors come in all faiths.
Who seeks spiritual direction?
People who seek spiritual direction come from all walks of life and all faith backgrounds. They are individuals who:
- Desire to grow spiritually.
- Want a deeper prayer life, a greater sense of holy presence in daily life.
- Wish to learn discernment in sorting out choices, making important life decisions, or going through times of transition.
- Are experiencing loss or disillusionment, wondering what it all means.
- Are struggling with a sense of God’s absence in life or with questions about faith or belief.
How often does one meet with a spiritual director?
The first exploratory visit might be to acquaint with the concept of spiritual direction, and to discern if this service and the director is a good fit for you. While a single session may be requested, most individuals choose a continuing relationship, meeting every month or so with their spiritual director. The subject matter may be anything that has occurred in life that the directee wants to examine in the light of how the divine is present in or working through this event and his/her life.
Spiritual directors at Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center:
Christine Dietz is a licensed independent social worker, spiritual director and Reiki Master. She is the Center’s Director of Clinical Training. She received her M.S.W. from the University of Iowa and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a graduate of the Lev Shomea Training Program for Spiritual Direction in the Jewish Tradition. Christine’s focus in counseling is on helping people reconnect to their innate wholeness and renew their sense of hope and possibility. She works with people experiencing anxiety, depression, OCD, trauma, life transitions, chronic illness, grief and loss, and relationship issues. She also offers individual and group spiritual direction to people from all faith traditions. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and Spiritual Directors International.
Diane McClanahan, Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Duke University and a master of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, she has served congregations in Connecticut and Iowa. Diane is a spiritual director, clergy coach, church consultant and conflict mediator. Her interest is in providing spiritual and educational programs and consultation to assist spiritual leaders and their congregations to meet the needs of their communities.
Kathy Reardon is a holistic nurse, spiritual director, and Healing Touch Practitioner. As a spiritual director, Kathy is an experienced retreat director and commissioned teacher of Centering Prayer. She presents programs on prayer, spirituality, health and healing, and adult faith formation. She holds a bachelor of nursing degree from the College of St. Scholastica and a Master of Science degree in counseling from Drake University. Kathy combines Healing Touch with other holistic approaches to assist her clients in growing in self-responsibility, empowered well-being, and wholeness. She has a special interest in working with those in trauma, life threatening illness, grief and loss, and critical life transitions.
Andrea Severson is a mental health counselor and spiritual director. Her degrees include a Master of Science in counseling from Drake University and a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. She holds a certificate in spiritual direction and is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. Andrea enjoys hearing the unique stories of the individuals and couples with whom she works. Her areas of interest include anxiety, depression, trauma, identity, faith and spirituality, life transitions, and relationships. Andrea is a member of the American Mental Health Counselors Association and Spiritual Directors International. In her spare time, she likes reading historical fiction, listening to the Beatles and camping.
How to make an appointment:
Schedule a complimentary exploratory meeting or make an appointment for a spiritual direction visit by calling: 515-274-4006 or emailing: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Silence . Contemplation . Deepening . Finding meaning . Freedom . Connection