How long have you been doing spiritual direction and supervision?
I began to meet with individuals for spiritual direction during my training, which I completed in 2009. In 2013 I added supervision training and now have a freelance or private practice.
Is spiritual direction like counselling?
It is similar in the sense of being a safe, contained, confidential space where everything is welcome. I hold to a comparable code of ethics and sessions can feel therapeutic. However spiritual direction is more about enabling your experience of soul/spirit/God/prayer and how they relate to life, rather than working directly with therapeutic themes. Both can bring change and transformation. In counselling, when someone has moved through a transition or difficulty with enough healing or self-resourcing, the arrangement usually comes to an end. In spiritual direction, although a crisis or life change may prompt someone to come, sessions are not essentially problem focused; people often continue in spiritual direction for many years as one way to help them to stay ‘in tune’ with life in its fullness – a kind of spiritual MOT, one might say!
What is the difference between spiritual direction and supervision?
Spiritual direction’s focus is on your relationship with God, or what is going on in your own soul or spiritual life. Whereas in supervision the focus is on supporting you to best serve the needs of others i.e. those with whom you work – clients, service users etc. Whilst parts of your own story may well be told and your soul touched and resourced in supervision, the main focus is on ‘work’ – supporting you to support others. Whereas, in spiritual direction the focus is specifically on exploring your own spiritual life.
Do I have to be religious, or a Christian?
No. Both spiritual direction and supervision are open to everyone who wishes to be more reflective, who are willing to spend time with their deeper selves and discover how your ‘true self’ is lived out in everyday life and work. In spiritual direction I work with people who have a traditional view of God, also those on the edge – or over the edge – of the institutional church, as well as those who would not use a god-language. We might talk about prayer or other spiritual practices. Spirituality is about awareness and expansiveness and, in that sense, I hope that the sessions I offer in both spiritual direction and supervision are ‘soulful’. Supervision is ‘pastoral’ when it includes the well-being, vision and values of the person coming for supervision; this is not dependent on any particular set of beliefs, although it can include aspects of this if the person wishes.
Do you offer concessions?
For spiritual direction I offer a sliding scale for those who genuinely could not otherwise afford to come. This can be discussed at the first session and is balanced with my own need to earn a living from this work. The hourly rate covers my preparation and reflection time, as well as supervision, insurance, ongoing training, venue and self-employment costs.
What if I need to cancel a session?
For supervision I ask for at least 48hours notice if you need to alter or cancel an arrangement, or a half fee will be requested; sudden illness excepted. For spiritual direction I also ask for as much time notice as possible so that the slot can be made available to others. There is currently no tradition in spiritual direction of cancellation fees but a contribution would be greatly appreciated.
Can I just come once and find out a bit more?
Of course. I offer initial sessions for both spiritual direction and supervision to see if we ‘click’ and for you to find out a bit more and ask questions. It’s really important for either service that you find the best person for you to work with. Sometimes this can mean taking time to meet with a couple of contacts before deciding on a way forward. If you decide to come again I usually then offer another review after 3 or 4 sessions.
What do other people say about your work?
“imaginative, informative, enjoyable and helpful”
“a gift of time and space to journey into my world”
“Our supervision time was very valuable and really did give me some fresh insights. I noticed how helpful our conversation had been when I met with my client yesterday. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for your time and for your very perceptive comments and questions. I am extremely glad that we went ahead with this session”
“Thanks for today Elizabeth it helped”
“a gentle, yet adventurous day thinking outside the box”
“In my experience in having had supervision I believe it to be a very effective and helpful tool to let you assess and reflect upon the practice of [work], it gives you an ability to see things often from a different angle which can assist [working] at a deeper level”
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org