A retired psychologist, I now act as a spiritual companion for people with a spiritual hunger or curiosity. I live in London but can Zoom anywhere.
I became a psychologist because I like listening to people and I wanted to help people examine the questions, ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Why am I here?’ and “How can I get better?’ I was lucky enough to do that for many years. But people saw me mostly because they also needed to explore questions like, “Why am I sad all the time?” “Can I reduce my anxiety?” “Am I really an addict?” “How do I stop my husband/wife/partner/job/child from causing me so much stress/heartbreak?” “What is a good friend and how do I make one?”
After a while, I realized that there were younger and more freshly trained psychologists who were very good at helping clients with the ‘in a practical way, how do I fix myself?’ mental health questions. I retired and began to renew my own spiritual quest. I am in training as a spiritual director, and am now able to offer spiritual direction (under the supervision of my own spiritual director).
What is the difference between psychotherapy and spiritual direction? One way of putting it is: If your psyche were a dark cave, psychotherapy would help you to find your way out of it. Spiritual direction is about helping you to explore it.
If you wonder about questions like the following, you may be on a spiritual quest.
“Who am I and why am I here?”
“Is this all there is to life?”
“If there is a God, what is with all the suffering? (Mine and other people’s)
“How is the church/temple/etc. so bad at helping me in this quest?”
“Is it just me, or is the world getting worse?”
“Do I need to be religious to have a relationship with God?”
“How do I get started with all this faith stuff?”
“Why does my app not really satisfy my thirst?”
If you want a companion along the way, I might be the person for you. My firmest spiritual roots are through my 35 years in the 12-step tradition, a non-dogmatic approach to individual spiritual growth. I have been a student of meditation since the early 1990’s and have sat on and off with Buddhist communities since then (currently ‘off’). I embraced Christianity in 1993 and have worshipped on and off with Anglicans since then (currently ‘on’). I sit regularly with a non-denominational group of meditators. I explored yoga teachings intently for the seven years I was actively involved in a yoga community. I pay attention to the contemplative Christian community, particularly the teachings of Richard Rohr. I am happily married to an agnostic.
I believe God is available to all who earnestly seek (dark nights of the soul notwithstanding). At times, we seek alone, but the spiritual journey is one that is meant to be shared..
What People Say
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.John O’Donohue
Privileged communications have priceless advantages. We find in them the perfect opportunity to be as honest as we know how to be. We do not have to think of the possibility of damage to other people, nor need we fear ridicule or condemnation. Here too, we have the best possible chance of spotting self-deception.
To become human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.