How does someone know they need spiritual direction or counseling?
Anyone who wants to truly make progress in spirituality, and can benefit from the opinion of someone who has seen others through, can benefit from one.
For me, seeing an SD changed my life drastically and almost immediately, and it began my 11 year journey “back toward sanity” as well as spiritual maturity. When he retired, I tried a second guy and we just didn’t “click” the same way. I probably should have stayed and tried him out, but I didn’t.
All I know is that the one I actually went to, improved my life in a manner I didn’t know even needed improving!
I’d say anyone interested in making progress can try one out. Meanwhile, do you read of mystical literature? Any saints in particular?
Thanks Alan…and no I don’t read any mystical literature.
I am a psychotherapist and people come to counseling for many difference reasons: depression, anxiety, marital or relational problems, behavior issues in children, domestic violence, or even just to get some better perspective on life or work toward self-actualization, achieving a higher quality of life. IF you can find a quality therapist (not all are helpful, and not all will be a good fit for every person–sometimes you have to “shop” around to find the right fit), therapy can be everything from helpful to life-changing. How does one know that one needs counseling, you ask? Well, I expect that is a highly individual thing. I believe that if a person is suffering then counseling is warranted (the word “patient” means “one who suffers,” which is why I prefer the term “patient” instead of “client,” which implies a business transaction–I believe therapy is much more personal and profound than a series of business-type meetings). If there is profound or obvious mental illness, schizophrenia, personality disorders, severe depression, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, etc., then mental health counseling is absolutely called for.
I love the idea of spiritual direction and would like to find a spiritual director myself. I think that we all could use someone to guide, counsel, advise, and challenge us. I know I need so much guidance and help to be the type of person God has called me to be! I would be honored to be spiritually directed and pray that it happens some day (soon!) for me.
Counseling and spiritual direction are both worthy pursuits. Neither are easy. I have found many patients/clients to have a bit of a harder time as they delve into themselves or the depth of their issues, and then later on things get better as they work out their individual issues. But the journey is always worth it. But of course I would say that–I believe in therapy and I believe in spiritual direction.
I loved a previous poster’s suggestion about reading the mystics. As a voracious reader, I devour mystical and spiritual writings and the Holy Scriptures.
I wish you well!
Thank you lifeandhope