Experience and Convergence in Spiritual Direction

J Relig Health. 2015 Feb;54(1):264-78. doi: 10.1007/s10943-014-9824-4.


The practice of spiritual direction concerns the human experience of God. As praxis, spiritual direction has a long tradition in Western Christianity. It is a process rooted in spirituality with theology as its foundation. This paper explores the convergences between aspects of philosophy (contemplative awareness), psychology (Rogerian client-centered approach) and phenomenology. There are significant points of convergence between phenomenology and spiritual direction: first, in Ignatius of Loyola's phenomenological approach to his religious experience; second, in the appropriation by spiritual directors of concepts of epochē and empathy; third, in the process of "unpacking" religious experience within a spiritual direction interview.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Christianity*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Empathy
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Mindfulness
  • Person-Centered Psychotherapy*
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Religious Philosophies*
  • Spirituality*