Spiritual Direction: Life Conversations

Life Conversations image

The Carmelite Centre Melbourne seeks to provide a contemplative space to facilitate spiritual journeys and personal growth. Spiritual Direction is one of the services offered. It is available through conversations about your life in the light of your faith or values.

What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual Direction is a series of conversations about your life in the light of your faith or values. The focus is on your spiritual journey through the day to day experiences of your life. These conversations assist discernment of what is life-giving for you, and what is binding you or holding you back from becoming all you have the potential to be. With greater clarity and self-knowledge you can then choose the way forward on the spiritual journey with greater freedom.
Spiritual Direction conversations are times set aside for yourself; times to talk and to be heard; times for focused attention on what’s important to you. There is no set agenda or prescriptive process but rather an openness and attentiveness to your deepest longings as they emerge.
Who can benefit from Spiritual Direction?
All those with an open heart who are genuinely seeking to discern the way forward in life – the way toward greater inner freedom, greater love of self, others and God, and the way to more authentically live their faith or values.
Those who realise that the spiritual journey need not be a solitary one.
What if I don’t believe in ‘God’?
Spiritual Direction requires belief in something greater than yourself that draws you beyond yourself to others and to the wider world. It requires a relational openness to more than the self. This ‘more’ has many names, or no name, and need not be named ‘God’.
Spiritual Direction is within the framework of what you do believe in and the values you hold.
What happens in a session?
The conversation may begin with an overview of what’s going on in your life – the joys and sorrows and challenges. Through talking and listening together the broad sweep may begin to focus on a deeper level. The content of this focus may be a surprising and helpful revelation. Or the session may begin with a particular aspect of your life that you want to talk about.  It’s your time so it’s up to you.
The Spiritual Director listens to you relate your experience, and by attentiveness and gentle questioning assists you to notice the subtle dynamics in your life and your responses.
How long, how much, how often?
A session is up to an hour and in 2017 costs $66 (incl. GST) Sessions are usually on a regular basis, at most monthly. This can be discussed at your first session.
How do I make an appointment?
If you are interested in finding out more about Spiritual Direction or making an appointment, please contact the Carmelite Centre by phone 03 9690 5430 or email  info@thecarmelitecentremelbourne.org  You will be put in touch with a Spiritual Director to arrange a suitable time to meet.

When can Spiritual Direction be helpful?
Spiritual Direction can be particularly helpful if you feel a need for change in your life in response to a calling to a deeper spiritual life; or feel stuck and dissatisfied in your spiritual journey; or when you are dealing with difficult circumstances; or when you feel a desire to talk at a deeper level than day-to-day conversations allow; or have a persistent yearning for a more intimate relationship with God. Speaking about what’s happening, receiving the undivided attention of another, focused on what matters to you, can in itself be most helpful, supportive and encouraging on your spiritual journey.
Is Spiritual Direction different from counselling?
The main focus in Spiritual Direction is your spiritual journey. The main focus of counselling is problem solving. Both deal with the concrete reality of your experience of life and both encourage deepening self-knowledge. In counselling such self-knowledge serves the purpose of dealing with the problem or on-going difficult life situation. In Spiritual Direction such self-knowledge enables greater freedom to respond to the fullness of life to which God is calling you, that is, to more fully become the unique person you are created to be. With an appropriate counsellor, counselling can certainly facilitate this journey too without being the primary focus.
How are Spiritual Directors trained?
The qualification of ‘Spiritual Director’ is through a Graduate Diploma which involves both theory and practice. Spiritual Directors themselves receive regular Spiritual Direction and also Professional Supervision.
Who are the Spiritual Directors?

Bernadette Micallef qualified as a Spiritual Director at the Heart of Life Spirituality Centre in 2011 and has been working with The Carmelite Centre since 2012. She is married with three sons (two young adults and a teenager) and has been a lay member of the Carmelite Order since 1991. She completed a Bachelor of Theology at YTU in 2006 and a Graduate Diploma in Spirituality in 2012.

Margie Bradbeer is a qualified Spiritual Director. She studied at Wellsprings Centre of Spirituality and works in Pastoral Care at Caritas Christi.

Damien Peile is The Carmelite Centre Pastoral Adviser and liaison with local interfaith groups and representatives. He also provides Spiritual Mentoring and counselling at The Centre.

Adrian Jones is a qualified Spiritual Director who has led spirituality courses and retreats for over thirty years. He serves on various committees advising on Carmelite Spirituality and life, and presents reflection days at The Carmelite Centre Melbourne.
Can I get to Middle Park by public transport?
No. 12 Tram from Collins St to stop 135 (on Mills Street) then 220 m walk down Richardson Street.
No. 96 Tram from Bourke St to stop 129 (on Canterbury Rd) then 450 m walk down Wright Street.

2017 Spiritual Direction flyer