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Art and Practice of Spiritual Direction

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  1. Introduction to the Course
  2. Art and Practice Themes Outline 2021-22
  3. Art and Practice Book List 2021-22
  4. Welcome from Program Mentors
  5. Zoom Links
  6. Assignments and Resources
    11 Topics
  7. Video Pre-work for Session 2: The Circle of Life
    3 Topics
  8. Video Pre-work for Session 2: Theological Presuppositions
    3 Topics
  9. April 10: Session 2 Flow
  10. Labyrinth Gallery
  11. Real Play from April 10, 2021
    1 Topic
  12. Video Pre-Work for Session 3: Supervision
    6 Topics
  13. May 8: Session 3 Flow
  14. Video Pre-Work for Session 4: Interior Movements
    4 Topics
  15. June 12: Session 4 Flow
  16. Video Pre-Work for Session 5: Directing Another in Prayer
    5 Topics
  17. July 10: Session 5 Flow
  18. Video Pre-Work for Session 6: Jungian Psychology and Spiritual Direction
  19. September 11: Session 6 Flow
  20. Video Pre-Work for Session 7: Culture and Marginalization
    7 Topics
  21. October 9: Session 7 Flow
  22. Pre-Work for Session 8: Special Topics in Spirituality
  23. November 13: Session 8 Flow
  24. Pre-Work for Session 9: Discernment
  25. January 7 & 8 Discernment Weekend
Lesson 19 of 25
In Progress

September 11: Session 6 Flow

PDF Download – Handout for Today

(See also below the Participant Flow)

Psychological Perspectives and Spiritual Direction


Art & Practice of Spiritual Direction

Session 6: Psychology and Spiritual Direction

Participant Flow

Session 6 Participant Flow


September 11, 2021
All times are listed in Pacific Time 

As with all retreats, times are flexible and may be adjusted along the way.


8:50     Zoom opens

9:00     Opening Ritual: Sacred is the Call

9:02     Opening Prayer: The Serenity Prayer (8 min.)

9:10     Large Group: Reflecting on practice during time apart (20 min.)

9:30     Large Group: Reflecting on Bisson part 1 (30 min.)

10:00   Mixed Breakout Groups: Case StudyGeorge’s Story (30 min.)


10:30  Break (10 min.)


10:40  Large Group: Reflecting on Bisson part 2 (30 min.)

11:20  Mixed Breakout Groups: Discuss Ch. 8 & 9, Sacred is the Call (40 min.)


12:00   Lunch! (90 min.)


1:30     Large Group: Turn my Heart, O God: Haugen (5 min.) 

1:35     Large Group: Discussion of Chapter 6, Ruffing (20 min.)

1:55     Mentor Groups: Experiences of Transference/Counter-Transference (30 min.)

2:25     Large Group: Responding to Transference/Counter-Transference (20 min.)

2:45     Journal the Day (5 min.)

2:50     Reminders and Closing Ritual (10 min.)

3:00     End


What’s Next? 

  • Mentor group meeting with Quads; supervision and direction meetings
  • Reflection paper (due September 23)
  • Assignments for October (!): Keep checking the assignment page 
  • Select a book from the November reading list to present at November Mentor Group
  • Resources handouts, audios and videos 
  • Continue looking for directees, if necessary 

Course Website:           Password: APListen2021 



Psychological Perspectives and Spiritual Direction

George is a married man in his late forties who has been coming to you for spiritual direction for about three months. He begins to tell you in a very reserved, anxious, and indirect way about incidents of physical and sexual abuse by a relative during his childhood. He tells you that he explored those experiences in some depth in therapy several years ago, but that he feels the healing remains incomplete. Perhaps if he could bring all this somehow before God something more could happen. At the end of the session you assure him of your support and encourage him, if he feels able, to bring his experiences to prayer. In the next sessions after talking of other matters for a while, he shares another piece of the story. He also relates two disturbing dreams that seem somehow related to the incidents of abuse. When you gently inquire whether he was able to bring the experience and his feelings to prayer, George replies, “I can’t seem to do that. But somehow telling it to you in spiritual direction feels like telling it to God.” In the next session George again begins by talking about other areas of his life, then tells a bit more of the story. He also mentions experiencing headaches and sleeplessness that seem related to the memories. A similar pattern continues over the next eight months. More and more of the story as well as the feelings and spiritual symptoms associated with it emerge. Then one day George appears for spiritual direction smiling broadly. He tells you, “One day last week I suddenly realized that there was a part of my soul that was never touched by the abuse. I finally feel free.”

What thoughts and questions stir in you as you reflect on this story? How might you respond if you were George’s director?