“Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls,” is the title edited by Gary Moon and David Benner. The subtitle is “a guide to Christian approaches and practices.” The book is published by IVP Academic and looks quite excellent. Chapter listing is as follows:
Part I The Seven Major Traditions of Christian Spirituality
1. Sp Direction and Christian Soul Care – D Benner and G Moon
2. Sp Direction in the Orthodox Christian Tradition – E. Gregory Rogers
3. Sp Direction in the Roman Catholic Tradition – G Barrette
4. Sp Direction in the Episcopal Tradition – G Temple
5. Sp Direction in the Reformed Tradition – B Johnson
6. Sp Direction in the Wesleyan-Holiness Tradition – W Tracy
7. Sp Direction in the Social Justice Tradition – J Gladson
8. Sp Direction in the Pentecostal/Charismatic Tradition – O McMahan
Part II The Three Major Voices of Soul Care
9. Sp Direction and Psychotherapy: Conceptual Issues – L Sperry
10. Sp Direction and Psychotherapy: Ethical Issues – S Tan
11. Sp Direction and Pastoral Counselling – I Galindo
12. Three Voices, One Song: Perspectives on the Care of persons from a Spiritual Director and Pastoral Counsellor – T Tisdale, C Doehring and V Lorraine-Poirier
It’s obvious that this book is designed as a text.
It is the chapters by Sperry and Galindo that have my attention this afternoon. Sperry appears interested in comparing and contrasting the three therapeutic worlds, I can’t help feeling there will be some good learning from that exercise. Galindo then focuses on the two worlds most interesting to me at this stage in my life: the worlds and frameworks of pastoral counselling and spiritual direction. If my life doesn’t conspire against me tomorrow I’ll say something more about both these chapters at that time.
Both practices are crisis-centered.
Sp Direction and Pastoral Counseling (207-209)
Spiritual direction is not indifferent to a person’s emotional difficulties or developmental arrests. Like pastoral counseling, sp direction at times is crisis-centered.
Both practices deal with the person holistically.
Both give attention to the interplay between the spiritual and psychological dynamics in the life of the person seeking help. Each attends to .. self-discovery.. the physical body in relation to psychological and spiritual health.. and recognizes the need to “travel the way of the unconscious in order to recover the awareness of God”
Both practices give attention to a person’s history
Both disciplines give special attention to personal relationships, past and present. In sp direction, life review is a common starting point [including] experiences of faith and belief, and history of religious practice.
Both practices teach.
Clarification, simple instruction and correction of misinterpreted facts are important parts of the process in both disciplines. Sp directors teach skills in the spiritual disciplines [and] educate about resources and the use of language..
Both practices work with a person’s motivation.
Both practices help people make decisions.
Both disciplines strive to make the individual more aware of his or her unconscious self, bringing it to conscious awareness, in order to facilitate rational life choices. In sp direction this is .. called discernment. One pastoral counsellor says, “I’m a window washer.”
Both practices have helping goals.
Recent shifts in psychotherapeutic models has resulted in a blurring of the lines between therapy and spiritual guidance.
Both practices are centered in love for the person.
“For both therapist and director, insofar as each is participating in a double process of healing and of growth, love is the supreme requirement.” (Alan Jones, 1982)