2 people talking in an office
Connect with God

Yes, Therapy and Spiritual Direction Are for Church Leaders

Your ministry and your personal life will benefit
by Danae Ashley | March 4, 2022

We all need to talk through stressful circumstances or trauma, especially in order to lead and care for others. Did you know that your health insurance may include an employee assistance program (EAP) that includes a certain number of therapy sessions to help process through work-related needs, among others? In addition, your regular benefits may also include pre-marital or couples counseling, processing grief, or even addressing addiction. The stress of leading through a pandemic is affecting every leader right now. 

Perhaps you are questioning your vocation or looking for spiritual guidance, which can be different from therapy. This article from the Faith+Lead archives sorts through how therapy or spiritual direction can address what we are going through. 

Spiritual Direction vs. Therapy  

What would it be like to explore the behavioral health options from your insurance plan during a time when you do not urgently need them, so that you already know where to look when you or a colleague needs to access them? What about asking your regional colleagues for local spiritual directors? Is there a list of therapists or spiritual directors in your synod, diocese or other regional church body? Take a step today: make a call, type in a search, or ask in a forum of colleagues.   

About the Author

Danae Ashley

The Rev. Danae M. Ashley, MDiv, MA, LMFT is an Episcopal priest and marriage and family therapist who has ministered with parishes in North Carolina, New York, Minnesota, and serves as the Associate Rector at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Seattle and as a therapist at Soul Spa Seattle, LLC (www.soulspaseattle.com). Danae uses art, music, drama, poetry, and movement in counseling, spiritual direction, and creation of ritual. Her interfaith Clergy Care Circles for therapeutic group spiritual direction directly supports diverse clergy in varied circumstances across the country. Danae's favorite past times include reading, traveling, dancing with wild abandon to Celtic music, and serious karaoke.

Upcoming Learning Experiences

Don't Miss an Insight

Get The Faith+Leader delivered directly to your inbox.

Unsubscribe anytime. We'll never rent or share your information.

Next Post