Ethical Practices

Be ethical toward the directees you are already seeing

As you seek to develop and grow your practice, it is vital to continue to be ethical toward the directees you are already seeing.

First, hospitality is key to any direction relationship. Be sure to provide a hospitable waiting room for your directees. Ensure that you have suitable lighting, refreshments and appropriate reading materials while they wait. Be generous—consider providing resources for development, including materials to borrow, such as CDs, DVDs, books and handouts. And, above all, provide hospitable spiritual direction.

Remember that information is important to a healthy and ethical spiritual direction relationship. Do regular progress reviews and check-ins with your directees, preferably every 6 months, in order to ensure that you and your directees are aware of needs, hopes and desire.

Steward directees with the kindness of Christ. Send emails or cards periodically to your directees to let them know you are praying for them. Stewardship also involves clear communication. Be sure to provide a clear outline of what spiritual direction is, what your fees are and if directees will bill cancelled appointments. Call directees in advance to remind them of their appointments, helping them to be accountable to their time and your time.

Indeed, accountability is crucial—not only for your directees but for you as well. Consider setting up an ethical board of volunteers to support you. This board might consist of a technological person with whom you can consult, a spiritual director and a person to hold you accountable ethically. Alternatively, you could choose to report periodically to an accountability structure within your Church. Finally, as a spiritual director, it is vital for you to maintain regular and frequent contact with your spiritual direction supervisor.

A Last Note

Other areas to consider when starting a practice include such things as creating a private practice label or logo for your business; developing a brochure; printing business cards; developing and maintaining a website for your business. Further research into each of these topics will uncover areas of growth and interest unique to each spiritual director and their practice.

Tracey-Ann Van Brenk M.Div.

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