Spiritual Director Program

SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR PROGRAM

The Spiritual Director Program is designed for those individuals who wish to take a personal look at their spiritual beliefs and practices, and who wish to provide formal spiritual guidance, mentoring and direction for others.

A Unique Program

  • It covers the 5 major religions of the world in addition to mystical and esoteric traditions, earth-based spirituality, and a perspective on the ‘new age’
  • It looks at the concept of being a modern mystic within the definition of 21st century contemporary spirituality.
  • Divine guidance and developing gifts of spirit are cultivated.
  • The art of sacred ritual and ceremony is explored through sound, music, movement and dance.
  • An overview on mystery schools is presented.
  • It explores transitioning to the non-physical and conscious dying.
  • The art of transformation and working with the soul is learned.

Who is this program for?

This program is ideal for individuals who wish to take a personal look at their spiritual beliefs and practices as well as for Psychotherapists and Counsellors who want to guide and support others on their spiritual journey. This area of study is very effective for Psychotherapists and Counsellors to have since many clients seek direction on their spiritual issues as well.

Areas of Study

This program is set up in 4 units with each unit building upon the understanding and capacities developed in previous sessions:

  • Our Mystical Search
  • Divine Guidance, Ritual and Ceremony
  • Mindful Living: Conscious Dying – Certificate
  • Working with the Soul

Program Objectives

  • To challenge & deepen spiritual beliefs
  • To broaden knowledge of different belief systems and comparative theologies
  • To understand the concept of divine guidance and learn to apply it to life
  • To discover the value of ritual & ceremony
  • To explore spiritual and cultural traditions that surround death and the dying process
  • End of Life Care, supporting the dying, ensuring dignity, advocating on their behalf
  • To support others though spiritual crisis, the dark night of the soul and transformation
  • To examine spiritual values and practices
  • To become a Spiritual Director or Spiritual Mentor

This program was created by Gord Riddell, Co-founder of Transformational Arts.

Note: In order to work as a professional Spiritual Director it is highly recommended to take additional training in Counselling Skills or the Spiritual Psychotherapy Training Program.

PROGRAM START DATE END DATE NOTES
Spiritual Director Wed, Sept. 16th 2020 Wed, Dec. 9, 2020 UNIT 1 – Our Mystical Search
  Wed, Jan. 6, 2021 Wednesday Feb. 17, 2021 UNIT 2 – Divine Guidance, Ritual and Ceremony
  Wed, Feb. 24, 2021 Wednesday May 5, 2021 UNIT 3 – Mindful Living and Conscious Dying
  Wed, May 12, 2021 Wednesday Jun. 23, 2021 UNIT 4 – Working with Soul

 

Spiritual Director: Total Program Hours

120 Hours:
111 hours + 9 hours case studies

Classes meet every Wednesday night, 6:30 – 9:30 pm, between September and June with scheduled breaks.

For a detailed schedule, application form and to reserve your spot, please contact Linda Kuschnir at 416-484-0454 ext. 23.

Program Format: Lecture, Discussion, Experiential, Meditation, Written Assignments, Journaling and 9 Case Studies.

 

Spiritual Director Training Program Courses

Unit 1 Our Mystical Search

Explore our spiritual history and traditions, leading us to examine the commonalities of spiritual experience globally. We must understand our Client’s birth religion to work with them effectively as Spiritual Directors.

Spiritual Journeys:

  • On becoming a Spiritual Director
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • The ‘new age’
  • Christianity – Early Mystics and Saints
  • Judaism – Kabbalah
  • Diversity and Spirituality
  • Indigenous – Native Spirituality
  • Wicca/Pagan/Goddess religions
  • The Golden Rule that is common and translated to all great religious and spiritual traditions

Course Length: 13 weeks (39 hours)

Instructors: Linda Kuschnir Registered Psychotherapist,  Spiritual Director

Guest Lecturers: Yvonne Brunelle, Sabastian Glass, Carmen Kattan, Christy DiFelice, Nina Menrai, Alex Pereklita, and Victoria Ervin

Unit 2 Divine Guidance, Ritual and Ceremony

Deepen your connection to the Divine and examine the historical role of ritual, while developing skills in creating your own rituals with personal relevance.

  • Divine guidance, gifts of Spirit
  • Demystifying channeling
  • Spiritual guidance from higher realms
  • History of the Great Oracles
  • Consulting Oracles and Divination tools
  • Creating rites of passage
  • Sacred space and your personal altar
  • Coming from Soul and Source not ego
  • Emerging new concepts in spirituality, the Sacred Human qualities
  • Introduction to mystery schools and esoterica

Course Length: 7 weeks (21 hours)

Instructors: Gord Riddell (Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director and Coach), Maria Gallé (Registered Psychotherapist,Spiritual Director and Coach), Linda Kuschnir (Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director, and Coach), and Pauline O’Hanlon (Registered Psychotherapist, and Spiritual Director)

Unit 3 Mindful Living and Conscious Dying – Certificate

An opportunity to look at our greatest mystery, and as such, our greatest fear. Fear of death often co-relates to our fear of living life fully and consciously. Cultural traditions around death as well as such difficult areas as euthanasia, suicide and assisted suicide will be explored.

  • From aging to sagehood
  • Grieving our losses, cultural traditions at death 
  • End of life decision making and legalities 
  • Dignity, advocacy, and client involvement 
  • Transitioning to the non-physical and conscious dying 
  • The choices of celebration for the completion of life

Course Length: 10 weeks (30 hours)

Instructor: Gord Riddell, Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director and Coach

Unit 4 Working with the Soul

Put in place the skills to work with others as a Spiritual Director. We will explore the dark night of the soul, spiritual ‘madness’, spiritual emergencies and create a working model of the modern day mystic.

  • Difference between spiritual direction and psychotherapy
  • Mystery and faith
  • Ego, personality and soul
  • Higher purpose
  • Dark night of the soul
  • Spiritual emergencies/ madness,  Spiritual values, and spiritual practice
  • Understanding the dark passions and spiritual graces of the 7 chakras according to C. Myss
  • Spiritual Director role & counselling skills
  • Practicum, role-plays, and integration
  • Closing ritual -Students performing in the Closing Ceremony Ritual

Course Length: 7 weeks (21 hours)

Instructor: Linda Kuschnir, Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director and Coach; Gord Riddell, Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director and Coach

REGISTRATION:

Prospective Students must be a minimum of 18 years of age and have graduated secondary school. Students with differing and alternative pathways are encouraged to apply. Contact Linda Kuschnir, Registrar at 416-484-0454 ext. 23 or [email protected] to apply.

As enrolment is limited, you are encouraged to register now. All applicants for programs will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis depending on space availability. Once the program reaches maximum capacity applicants are placed on a waiting list. Acceptance into the program is conditional and requires an interview meeting in person or by telephone.

Pre-requisites/ Requirements

The minimum requirements are the Discovering the Total Self Program (may be taken concurrently) and some counselling skills. Those with differing backgrounds to the pre-requisites are invited to apply. All exceptions are made by the permission of Linda Kuschnir, Instructor and Managing Director. 

If you do not have former counselling experience or are not a graduate of the Spiritual Psychotherapy, Holistic Program or other Counselling Program, inquire about the Counselling Skills courses offered through other TAC Programs.

Diploma

Students must attend 90% of classes to receive a Diploma from Transformational Arts. All assignments must be completed successfully.

Tuition

$3,200 plus a $185 Administrative and Materials Fee. Tuition tax credits are given for this program and it is HST exempt. A $300 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. Financial plans are available. Costs for books and materials are additional.

Mindful Living: Conscious Dying Certificate 

Unit 3 is a Certificate course within the Spiritual Director Program and may be taken as a stand alone course for those wishing to gain knowledge and understanding in End of Life Care. The certificate is awarded based on the same criteria as the diploma (see above). 

This course has limited open spaces as most spaces are already filled by Spiritual Director students. Apply Early for this program. Included in Spiritual Director Program 

Tuition – $800 plus $75 Admin and Materials Fee. Includes course booklet. Tuition tax credits are given for this program and it is HST exempt. A $200 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. Financial plans are available. Costs for books are additional.

 

SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR ASSIGNMENT SCHEDULE

Assignment #1 Assigned: Wednesday September 15, 2021 Due: last class of each Unit

Journal assignment:
Once a week, with breaks along the way, you will receive a question to ponder. Please take time to answer these questions along the way. Your reply to each question should not exceed one (1) typed page. It is not possible to answer these questions incorrectly. There is no right or wrong answer. The questions are hopefully helping you to think about areas you may not have considered in the past or may consider now from a different perspective.

Assignment #3  Assigned: Wednesday October 13, 2021              Due: November 10/21

Diversity Reflection Assignment:

For this assignment, you will be required to hand in a written report on your reflections about diversity. Reflections can include what makes each of us unique, our backgrounds, personality, life experiences and beliefs, – a combination of our differences that shape our view of the world, our perspective and our approach.  You may want to explore diversity as it applies to gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, language, educational, background, religious beliefs, and so on and examine the different types of diversity: internal, external, organizational, and worldview.

 

Assignment #2  Assigned: Wednesday September 22, 2021         Due: January 5/22

Spiritual Autobiography Assignment:

For this assignment, you will be required to hand in a written report on your exploration of spirituality in your life.  Feel free to use your creativity in terms of how you format your spiritual autobiography but try to include information on such things as:

  • religion of origin, if any
  • ways you may have challenged your religion of origin when growing up
  • any religious wounding experiences
  • your perception of God and how it might have changed as you have evolved, your current relationship with God
  • your current relationship with the non-physical spiritual realms, i.e., saints, spirit guides, angels, nature spirits, animal totems, etc.
  • dark night of the soul experiences or spiritual crises
  • possible re-connections with faith traditions from your youth
  • spiritual awakenings along the way
  • current spiritual philosophies and practices and current spiritual orientation

This should be a short story of your life, but from the perspective of how you have experienced Spirit in your life and how it moves in and through you.

No more than 3 typed pages, double-spaced

Assignment #3  Assigned: Wednesday February 23/22   Due: June 2/22

Creating an Altar/Sacred Space:           

Take a picture of an altar/sacred space that you have created in your home or office and do a one page write-up (12 point-font).  Things to consider for the design of your altar:

  • Direction it’s facing. What room is it in?
  • Use of the 4 elements: Earth, water, fire & air
  • Theme(s)
  • Spiritual symbols involved
  • Activating ingredients: i.e.) incense, water, crystals, candles,
  • Sound i.e.) bells, tingshas
  • Clearing the space either with sound, smudge, essential oils, etc.
  • Offerings
  • Use of icons, statuary, pictures and mementos
  • Use of fabric, colour, crystals, geometric shapes

Assignment #4  Assigned: Wednesday February 19/22                Due: June 22/22, last day of class

Closing Ritual:             

Design a closing ritual for your class no longer than 1 to 1 ½ hours long. We should be finished by 8:30 pm. You will need to meet as a group perhaps before class a few times to design the ritual.  In your group meetings, it can be a good idea to have a rotating chairperson to guide the process, move the meeting along and help get decisions made.

  • Determine the themes and stages of your ritual. Energy circle, clearing of aura and space, intent and purpose of ritual, middle stages, themes and closure.
  • Remember a ritual is like a symphony that has a beginning, middle and end. How will you peak or crescendo the energies?   
  • What are the moods of your ritual and what energy states do you wish to create?
  • Draw a blueprint up for your ritual that provides an outline. You may put this on the whiteboard if you wish so that everyone has a map.
  • Decide the roles that you will play in the ritual. Who facilitates what part and who will assist that facilitator. Certain function and roles should be delegated i.e.) lighting, music, etc.  Remember that the facilitator sets the mood for the ritual so that they give permission to let others make a meaningful connection whether it is sacred, emotional, playful, fun, etc.
  • What tools and props will you be working with?
  • What instruments or music will you use? You can borrow the schools instruments. 
  • Build an altar or art piece to leave behind in the room as a blessing for the college and future students.
  • Students provide a potluck afterwards: Munchies & beverages.  Wine/beer is allowed.
  • Gord Riddell, Linda Kuschnir, Maria Gallé and Sarah Clarke will attend. You may also invite other internal staff and other teachers you have had throughout the year.

Please note:  It is a requirement to participate in the preparation of your group ritual, as well as to attend in order to graduate from the Spiritual Director Program.

 

Assignment #5  Assigned: Wednesday June 15, 2022                   Due: for graduation

Case Studies

For those enrolled in only the Spiritual Director Training Program, you will be required to complete 9 (nine) case studies to graduate (along with attendance and assignment requirements) and obtain a diploma. You will be doing some role plays in class to help prepare for this assignment. You will need to meet with an assigned Spiritual Director Case Supervisor to review screening of clients, client intake documentation, case study reports for Spiritual Director case studies.

When handing in case studies, documentation submitted must include your name & student number as Spiritual Director Intern and your case study client’s initials only.

You will be provided with the format to use for completion of your Spiritual Director case studies.  You must also meet with your Case Supervisor to review the case study procedure in more detail, as well as receive support as you work on completing your case studies.

While you conduct spiritual direction with your clients, you will be considered a Spiritual Director Intern.  Suitable clients for spiritual direction (also called Directees) are often looking for direction in the bigger scheme of their lives as opposed to working through particular emotional issues as is often done in spiritual psychotherapy.

At the same time, there can be a significant overlap between spiritual psychotherapy and spiritual direction.  We would say that all psychotherapy is spiritual but in spiritual direction you are often dealing explicitly with spiritual issues, higher purpose, soul learning and soul evolution themes. 

Some of the themes that may come up include:  religious wounding from religion of origin, challenges around changes in religious beliefs or spiritual practices, religious prejudice, higher purpose, spiritual perfectionism, or any current issues clients are dealing with that call for a higher perspective (e.g. a spiritual dimension to a circumstance or situation) or a questioning about how spirit might be directing them in their lives. It is important to remember that spiritual direction is not about taking a client to a place of spiritual bypass prematurely. 

If your spiritual direction client is at a point of needing to do healing on their emotional wounds, refer them to the Transformational Arts Psychotherapy Clinic or to a psychotherapist before taking them on as a spiritual direction case study client and consider waiting to do spiritual direction until after they have addressed their emotional wounds to some extent.

All the best with completing our Spiritual Director case studies!

SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR UNIT 3
MINDFUL LIVING/CONSCIOUS DYING
END OF LIFE CERTIFICATE COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Total classroom hours – 30
Required Attendance – 90%
Final Class and assignment – Mandatory

Students are assessed in this Course by the following criteria:

  •  Differentiate between palliative, hospice, respite care.
  • Journal questions assigned – to be submitted 15%
  • Attendance 10 %
  •  Participation 10%
  • Eulogies Presentation – 40% = Total 100%
  • Sound i.e.) bells, tingshas
  • Pre-requisites – Previous counselling experience or studies, or already registered in the full Spiritual Director Program

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  •  Differentiate between palliative, hospice, respite care.
  • Explain different major religions traditions of death and dying.
  • Assess the importance of the various roles on an end of life team.
  • Facilitate the discussions with client about their final days.
  • Manage the clients needs and wishes at the end of their life.
  • Create with client their funeral/ end of life ceremony.
  • Collaborate with client’s loved ones about their roles in the final days.
  • Advocate for the client to ensure their needs are being met.
  • Explain the legalities necessary to ensure client’s final wishes are met.
  •  Detect and corroborate with proper parties any ethics violations.
  • Reflect upon their own experience with each client they work with.