One should look into graduate study into theology and also Catholic psychology to get the most accurate answer that Catholicism has for certain questions and to not be misled that the personal opinion that you receive from lay directors is akin to the sort of spiritual direction mentioned by saints such as St. Faustina in Divine Mercy in My Soul where absolute obedience is also recommended. There is a difference between the advice of a well-meaning but uninformed friend and a well qualified spiritual director that God has blessed. And obligations are different for those who do vs. do not have vows. (P.S. every religious takes a vow of poverty as part of the evangelical counsels)
See the contrasting quotes from Divine Mercy in My Soul:
1423 On a certain occasion, one of the sisters [Sister Damian Ziolek ] confided to me that she wanted to choose a certain priest as her confessor. Very pleased, she shared the news with me and asked me to pray for that intention, and so I promised her to do so. During prayer, I learned that that soul would gain no spiritual profit from his direction. And then, the next time we met, she told me again of her great joy in being under his direction.
1424 I joined in her joy, but when she had left I was severely rebuked. Jesus told me to tell her what He had I given me to know during prayer, which I did at the first opportunity, although it cost me a great deal.
354 As I was talking to a certain person who was to paint the image but, for certain reasons, was not painting it, I heard this voice in my soul: I want her to be more obedient. I understood that our efforts, no matter how great, are not pleasing to God if they do not bear the seal of obedience; I am speaking about a religious soul. O God, how easy it is to know Your will in the convent! We religious have God’s will set clearly before our eyes from morning till night, and in moments of uncertainty we have our superiors through whom God speaks.
A learned spiritual director who is faithful to the Church can be extremely hard to find for a secular person; the most learned and faithful often limit their service only to priests/nuns, and even for priests/nuns this is often a great difficulty. “St. Faustina had great difficulty finding confessors and spiritual directors who understood what God was doing in her life. She finally found two good ones in Fr. Joseph Andrasz, S.J., and in Fr. Michael Sopocko.” goodjesuitbadjesuit.blogspot.com/2009/04/fr-joseph-andrasz-sj-spiritual-director.html
Who was Fr. Sopocko?
Fr. Sopocko continued his theological studies by distance learning, preparing his doctoral work on moral theology entitled, “The Family in Law-making.” He submitted his thesis in the Theology Department of the University of Warsaw on 1 March 1926. Because his research work required knowledge of foreign languages, he also studied German, English and French.
After obtaining his doctorate, he prepared for a further post doctoral degree. In 1927 and 1928, while continuing to work as director of the chaplaincy of the local Military District, Fr. Sopocko was appointed to the prominent position, of spiritual director of the Seminary and head of the Pastoral Theology Department at the Vilnius University. These new duties forced him to gradually withdraw from military chaplaincy work.
Work in the seminary and the role of Spiritual Director, eventually began to suit him. As Spiritual Director, Fr. Sopocko was also the moderator of the Marian Sodality, the Eucharistic Association, the Third Order of St. Francis and the Union of Seminarians Associated with the Mission Clergy. Another service he was appointed to by the bishop, at this providential time in Vilnius, was that of confessor to religious orders and the hearing of confessions of religious sisters.
He had a PhD on Moral Theology, head of the Pastoral Theology department at a university, etc. etc. He also had life experience, being advanced in years. He was not a 24 year old lay person who had completed “some” training as mentioned in the book Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church so it seems less likely he would make mistakes.