How Does Spiritual Direction Differ from Psychotherapy?
While a qualified therapist begins by listening to your and your story, they also take an active role in the professional relationship, applying interventions and helping you set goals to improve your life in ways that you define. A therapist works with your whole story, including how you feel, relationship issues, and other problems—not just your experience of the Divine.
Like a therapist, a spiritual director wants to hear and support you. Rather than focus on specific objectives though, a director is more concerned with your immediate experience, and is much less attached to outcomes. Although psychological concerns may arise, a trained director knows when to refer you to seek the appropriate professional help, and focuses instead on your spiritual life, and your meaning-making process.
“Spiritual time” moves more slowly then therapy or counseling, and the direction relationship is more relaxed and open to the capricious nature of our own unique paths.