Spiritual Direction, So(U)L Care & Coaching

There is no one right way to be spiritual.

Photo of Karen Erlichman with the sun on her facePhoto by Sara Deragon

Many people are “spiritually curious,” but don’t know where to explore this further without feeling judged or self conscious. Other people find themselves at a crossroads in their lives, and would love to find a welcoming, confidential, non-judgmental place in which to find clarity, direction and wholeness.

Spiritual direction is a form of spiritual guidance and soul care with roots in a variety of spiritual and cultural traditions. Some folks are curious about creating a daily spiritual practice, or want to connect to their inner lives (however they define that). Others want to revisit in a new way the religion in which they were raised.  They might describe themselves as eclectic, multi-faith or wondering wanderers. For some people, it’s all about God; for others, it has nothing to do with any kind of god.

Meaning-making. Belonging. Connection. Wholeness.

Photo: painting by Rosanna FerraroImage by Rosanna Ferraro

I sought out training in spiritual direction and supervision at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA because I wanted to learn from seasoned teachers who had been engaged in this practice for many decades.  I also trained under the private mentorship of Rabbi Amy Eilberg. More recently I have completed several embodied coaching courses at the Strozzi Institute and have continued to hone my skills.

For over 20 years I have been providing interfaith spiritual direction to individuals, groups and organizations.  I also provide supervision and mentoring to spiritual directors and students of spiritual guidance. I am a longtime member of Spiritual Directors International, and write regularly for Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. 

So(U)L Care and Coaching includes consultation and ongoing coaching, and has emerged organically from my personal and professional career path. The “U” is emphasized because I tailor my work for you and your needs. I spent the first decade of my career as a medical social worker, then began my private practice and later trained in meditation and spiritual direction. I had considered pursuing chaplaincy training but felt that spiritual direction was a better fit for spiritual care that meets people in the heart of their everyday lives, not just at times of medical crisis, grief or end-of-life.

I’ve been so grateful to be able to stay close to the pulse of chaplaincy in my service on the Professional Advisory Group for the UCSF Spiritual Care Services Department, mentoring numerous chaplains through their training and beyond.

Here are a few short videos about spiritual direction, including a brief description of discernment as a spiritual practice, a conversation with my colleague Wendie Bernstein Lash about working with the Shadow in spiritual direction, and a little bit of my own story: