A spiritual counselor can be one of the most important and rewarding jobs you’ll ever have.
And, while they can be incredibly helpful, they are also just as crucial as a primary care physician.
And because of that, it’s best to be sure that you’re taking the right approach when selecting a spiritual counselor.
“The only way you’re going to get the most out of a spiritual counseling career is to do it right,” says Dr. Daniel Kline, a psychiatrist and co-author of The Wisdom of Spirituality, “and if you’re not doing it right, then you’re just going to be disappointed.”
Here are 10 ways to choose a spiritual advisor that will help you thrive as a practicing Christian.
The Spirit Guide Can Work for You When it comes to selecting a spiritually guided counselor, the most crucial thing to remember is that there is no magic wand that will magically change how you see the world, Dr. Kline says.
“We can all make choices about the type of relationship we’re going into and what type of life we want to lead, but we need to do that with respect to ourselves and our own spiritual needs,” he adds.
That means taking into consideration how well you feel about yourself and your relationship with God.
“You need to have that internal dialogue with yourself about your inner self,” he explains.
“That’s where your real inner wisdom and personal transformation will come from.”
You can get an insight into this process when you ask your spiritual guide to share his or her personal life story.
“There’s nothing wrong with telling a spiritual story, but it’s important to be aware that that story can’t be true,” says Kline.
“If it’s true, then your relationship to God will not be working.”
The Spiritual Guide Will Make the Difference A spiritual adviser will be able to help you see how you can change your life and the world around you in ways that are positive for both you and the other person, he says.
So, if you are an individual who is struggling with an issue that’s troubling you, it might be helpful to ask for guidance from a spiritual adviser.
“One of the biggest challenges we face in our lives is being able to really look into our own heart and soul and really make changes to our behavior,” says psychiatrist and author of The Power of Spirit, Dr., Dr., and Dr. David Daley.
“I think that the spiritual adviser is going to really be able be a catalyst for that kind of change, because he or she will be giving you an opportunity to really reflect and really get to know yourself in a way that you haven’t been able to before.”
“I also think that a spiritual advisory can really help you understand the reasons why you’re having a hard time,” Kline adds.
“So, if your problems are due to a negative life pattern or an underlying psychological issue, they can really be used to help us to change our thinking about why we’re having these problems and how we can overcome them.”
You Can Do Better Without a Spiritual Advisor A spiritual advisor will help a person who has suffered a major personal loss to understand and accept the meaning of their life, and help them to work through the trauma that came with it, says Dr., Daley, who also serves as a clinical associate professor at Emory University School of Medicine.
“As we learn to heal from this loss, we will also learn to better appreciate and understand the impact that trauma has on our relationships and our lives, which will help us be able, if we continue to be patient and patient, to make the kind of life choices that are best for our families, our health, and for our spiritual growth,” he says, adding that it’s especially important for people who have experienced loss of a loved one to have a spiritual guide who will help them understand how they can heal and recover.
The Consultant Can Help You Build a Better Life When it came to selecting the right counselor for you, you should not overlook the importance of making the right choice, says Klin.
“A spiritual counselor’s job is to make sure that your life is going in the direction that God wants it to go, not in the path that you want it to,” he emphasizes.
“For example, if the spiritual counselor is not really committed to helping you, that’s really, really problematic, because then you may be doing yourself a disservice.
If the spiritual advisor is not going to make it clear to you that there’s a difference between ‘I think it’s okay to be sad,’ and ‘I don’t want to get hurt,’ and that it is OK to have anger or be hurt, then that’s not a wise decision.”
Dr. Daley explains that the best way to determine whether you need a spiritual professional is to ask a trusted friend or family member who is not a spiritual expert to help with the interview process.