With origins in the Catholic tradition, a Directed Retreat most often means a personal retreat with the opportunity to meet with a Spiritual Director for up to an hour each day for individual guidance and support during your retreat. Sometimes called Spiritual Companions or coaches at some retreats directors may be a licensed counselor or therapist. In the case of health retreats the director may be a nutritionist or a medical practitioner and in the case of art retreats the director may be an artist or a counselor specializing in creativity coaching.
There is no limit to the topics for the daily meeting; anything you are thinking about, praying about, and even your nightly dreams can be brought into the one-on-one discussion. However, whether the topic is spiritual or mundane the discussion will be held within a spiritual context. To support your process of deep inner work during the retreat the director may suggest journaling, meditation, scriptural studies, art work, etc.
Some centers suggest that retreatants remain silent during the entire retreat, some facilitate group interaction at meals etc, and a few discourage any alone time instead relying on the group to help the individuals to process their issues. Centers may also offer outdoor activities such as hiking or kayaking, or physical therapies such as yoga, massage and energy work.
Most centers offering Directed retreats accept retreatants year around, however some centers schedule times during the year for Directed retreats and bring in Directors only for that time.
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