What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction has a long history in the christian tradition, particularly within monastic communities where older members would sit with their younger brothers and sisters to receive their questions, nudge curiosities, and look together for the presence of the divine. For those of us raised in a reformed or fundamentalist tradition, the notion that God reveals god-self to each of us uniquely, and that we can trust and ponder those revelations may seem shocking at first. After years steeped in church doctrine and biblical literalism as the clear source and end point for all questions, it can feel a bit sacrilegious to regard the voice within with such reverence. And yet, so many of us find ourselves reaching for more than the church rules and dogma can offer, sensing a tugging beyond the strict limits and wooden doctrine we have been force fed.

But what waits beyond?

The journey of a faith shift can be lonely and disorienting. You might be afraid to reveal your new questions or experiences to those in your circle, worried about the loss of a job, a friendship, or connection to family members. Some of us leave because we are found out and forced out, some of us spend a long time peering out the windows before we take our first step beyond the ivory walls. Though we are all walking our own path, we all need companions.

The role of a director is to serve as a friend for the journey.

Each time we meet, I have the privilege of walking alongside you as we notice what has been stirring in you, any new questions or grief or joy that have surfaced, any tender places that need extra care. Sometimes we might sit down and dig deep into a memory or question. Other days we skip down the path with wonder and delight. In our gathering together we practice deep listening, looking for the movement and invitation of the divine mystery in your life.

I know first hand how uneasy it can be to enter a ‘faith space’ once trust has been broken. Even as we long for healing, for new practices or rhythms that are true to the stirrings inside us, our skepticism and grief may stay close at hand. I recognize this as the gift of our loving bodies, protecting us from any danger that may come. From a place of respect and trust in our bodies, I promise not to push you into language or practices that you are not comfortable with. Our time together is to serve and support you, a shoulder to lean on, a bit of respite on your journey.

If this sounds like something you’ve been longing for, you can sign up for a free session where we can get to know one another better and I can learn more about the support and care you are looking for. If you have more questions before taking the next step, please reach out to me at spiritualdirection@juliannevantland.com any time.


Q: How often will we meet?

A: After our first get-to-know-you meeting, if we both feel we are a good fit, I would encourage you to try committing to at least three sessions, usually spaced about a month apart. That will give us time to get to know each other and practice listening together. I will make space for regular check ins along the way to be sure you are comfortable and feeling well supported. Most people find that regular monthly sessions works best for their schedule and needs, but I am flexible and happy to meet more or less frequently.

Q: How much do you charge for a session?

A: The first session is free, and after that each session is $50. However, if financial burden prevents you from seeking the spiritual support you need, please reach out and we can find a more suitable arrangement for your situation.

Q: Is spiritual direction only for Christians?

A: Nope! Direction and guidance is a part of many traditions and spiritual practices. I am open to working with directees from a variety of backgrounds, although my particular experience and training is rooted in the christian tradition and I am most familiar with the experiences of those shifting out of conservative Christianity.

Q: What if I don’t believe in God anymore?

A: There are no doctrinal statements or professions of faith here. If you need a space to process that shift in belief, regardless of if you desire future religious practice or not, I would be honored to walk with you and receive your story.

Q: Are you LGBTQ+ affirming?

A: Absolutely. As a bisexual woman with a non-binary kiddo, viewing the divine through a queer lens has become a powerful part of my own healing journey. I honor the sexual and gender identities of all my directees. Please do let me know your pronouns. I use she/her.

Q: Are you a therapist?

A: I am not. I have a bachelor’s degree in social work and a certificate from my spiritual direction training program but I am not a licensed therapist and cannot provide mental health care. I would encourage you to seek the support of a therapist for complex mental, emotional, and relational health needs. While I recognize the interconnectedness of all aspects of our well being, I am only trained to provide support for your spiritual life.