WHO IS THE SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR?
Charlie Vensel is a Certified Spiritual Director through Larry Crabb’s NewWay Ministries School of Spiritual Direction. In addition, Charlie holds an MDIV degree, is an ordained minister, and served in full-time pastoral ministry for more than a decade, logging hundreds of soul-care hours.
WHERE AND HOW DO I MEET WITH HIM?
Located in Spartanburg, SC, Charlie works with directees all over the country by phone or video conferencing. Some local directees opt to meet in person, but the process works just as well remotely, oftentimes better. Day and evening hours are available on most business days. Evening hours are usually reserved for phone or video conference appointments, but can be in person with prior arrangements.
HOW OFTEN DO WE MEET?
Spiritual direction appointments last about 1 hour with an appointment scheduled every other week. For first-time directees, an initial commitment of 6 appointments is required. We understand that it takes about ninety days to break old patterns and implement new ones, while the first thirty can be the most challenging. Therefore, the initial commitment is primarily psychological, not financial.
As you near the end of your initial commitment, you will have the opportunity to talk about continuing the relationship, ensuring your victory and/or work on other areas. Many directees decide to stay on a monthly basis for a year or more, others maintain a quarterly or biannual routine indefinitely. Charlie is always grateful when clients experience results sooner than expected. You will know when it is time to speed up, slow down, take a break, or bring it to an end. The decision is always yours after the initial commitment.
WHAT DOES A SPIRITUAL DIRECTION APPOINTMENT LOOK LIKE?
The session begins in silent prayer, followed by sharing what is going on in your life. Together with Charlie, you will explore where God is present and what God’s invitation to you may be.
The Spiritual Direction relationship is highly individualized and any given session may include reflecting on past or recent events, interacting with study materials or your Rule of Life (a balance of prayer, study, work, and recreation), contemporary topics, theological discussion, celebration, grieving, confession, prayer or periods of silence.
IS WHAT I SHARE CONFIDENTIAL?
Yes. However, some states require exceptions in cases where certain laws may be broken, and/or, there is a serious possibility of extreme danger to you or another.
IS SPIRITUAL DIRECTION THERAPY?
No. Spiritual Direction is not therapy. Although many of the communication techniques can be similar, such as active listening, reflecting, and use of open-ended questions, therapy offers a clinical focus with a more intense schedule of meetings.
Sometimes during the Spiritual Direction process, deep psychological or emotional issues are uncovered. Charlie is comfortable working with some minor issues because of his own ups and downs, as well as his pastoral education, training and experience, but he never hesitates to refer out to professional counseling when it would be a better fit. Sometimes counseling is more appropriate than Spiritual Direction, other times they may compliment each other very well and can be done at the same time.
CAN YOU PROVIDE SPIRITUAL DIRECTION FOR SOMEONE IN THERAPY
Yes, so long as your therapist is advised and approves.
I SEE CHARLIE IS AN ORDAINED MINISTER. WHAT ARE HIS BELIEFS?
Charlie considers the essentials of the Christian Faith to be contained in the Nicene Creed.