Spiritual Direction Training
Allen Proctor, Director Haden Institute
“I am happy I found this opportunity for learning both spirituality and depth psychology as foundations for the practice of spiritual direction. This unique focus, providing a deeper understanding of spirituality, and of myself, transformed my life, and prepared me to accompany others on their spiritual journey”
— Houston graduate
At the Haden Institute we integrate spirituality and psychology in our Spiritual Direction Training Course. We offer participants information and skill development through brilliant lectures, readings, reflections, small group work, and case studies.
While our roots are in the western Christian traditions, we also learn from religious mystics, spiritual practices and beliefs from a variety of faith traditions. Depth psychology is a spiritual as well as a psychological paradigm, so at Haden we also learn about spirituality directly from the experience of the human psyche. Most importantly, Haden graduates are trained to journey with spiritual seekers from all religious traditions.
Imagine . . . immersing yourself in poetry, fairy tales, contemplative practices, Celtic, Desert, Natural, and Creation spiritualities. Imagine how useful it would be to learn the practicalities of the Enneagram and Jungian typology. Imagine delving into the intricacies of transference and counter-transference, shadow and complex identification, rootedness and freedom in religion and spirituality. Imagine learning about and applying the wisdom of the mystics, Jungian dream work and psychology, and having the tools to provide spiritual direction with the chronically ill and the dying. Imagine using creative expression to integrate the learnings, and practicing embodiment exercises to complete the mind, body, spirit connection. This is what the Spiritual Direction Training Courses offer.
Each intensive includes lectures and discussion with faculty and mentors, as well as staff-led case study reflections, prayer, silence and meditation, socials, embodiment practices, creative expression space, relaxation, and fun in the beauty of the outdoors. Mentor-guided reading and writing assignments between intensives enhance learning and practice. Small group interaction during the intensives create a close-knit support community throughout the program. Faculty members rotate through the intensives, allowing participants to experience the entire faculty during the course.
Our Spiritual Direction Training course is offered in both North Carolina and Canada. The course are similar in faculty and course curriculum but the course offered at Mt. Carmel is unique in many ways. One primary difference is the number of onsite intensives, Canada has 4 intensives total, each for 7 days; the US has six intensives, each for 4 days. Canada welcomes new participants every two years, which means both the large group and the small groups are together for the entire course. There is a more traditional Catholic feel to the course in Canada, and teachings have a focus on Carmelite and Ignatian spirituality and include specific presentations on John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. The next entry opportunity for the Canadian course is in October 2020.
Psycho-spiritual education in the Jungian, mystical, and Christian traditions is the program foundation. Participants develop knowledge and understanding of the art and practice of spiritual direction in contemporary spiritual life by learning:
Mystical and contemplative practices of Christianity and other ancient religious and spiritual traditions
Seminal ideas from Carl Jung’s teachings, and their application to the personal and spiritual growth process
Dream work, including the function of dreams, and how to use dream work with both individuals and groups
Tools for self-discovery and transformation such as Myers–Briggs Type Indicator and the Enneagram
Spiritual literacy and interfaith awareness
Contemplative practices as tools for personal discernment, and as a call to justice in our world
Those who successfully finish the program will be awarded a certificate of completion.
For scholarship information see:
Each course intensive includes a
creative expression teaching
Whether it is creating mandalas, writing poetry, or moving to music we offer many avenues for processing and integrating images and ideas that rise during the gatherings. We have a creative space available for participants to use throughout the intensive and there are designated times Sheila Petruccelli is present to answer questions and offer guidance. The space is well stocked with paint, clay, fiber, collage images and a variety of other media, along with candles, twinkle lights, chocolate and creations to use as inspiration. The creative process is a wandering that may lead to a product that is symbolic and archetypal or enigmatic and evocative, reflecting an important aspect of the deep inner work of spiritual growth.
Leanne Thomas Video, Final Project for Graduation
Spiritual Direction, Mount Carmel Centre Canada