Spiritual counselling

"Spiritual counselling
attends to the needs
of a soul in astructured
conversation,grounded in
sacred space. It works
largely 'outside of the
box', accepting the idea
of paradox and mystery.
It is supportedby a
compassionate and forg-
iving presence. It's holistic,
taking the mind into
account, as well as the
body, spirit and soul."

interfaith minister UK

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Client comments:

"Clive is grounded in realism. He understands the material world in which we live and the day to day challenges of that world, and is therefore able to support spiritual development in a very grounded, yet totally compassionate, and totally spiritually connected, space."

"Clive has a calming, grounding, presence. He is attentive, and listens and reflects well."

"The session felt focused and powerful, and gave me some clear things to take away and use."

One Spirit Interfaith Foundation - training interfaith ministers in the UK

One Spirit Interfaith Foundation
One Spirit Interfaith Foundation trains people to be Interfaith Ministers and offers cemonies, including wedding ceremonies and spiritual counselling to people of all faiths or none.

UK Interfaith Ministers Association

Interfaith Ministers Association
The Interfaith Ministers Association (IMA) provides support to the spiritual community of ministers and counsellors who offer ceremonies for weddings, civil partnerships, namings, blessings, funerals and memorials and more private sessions for personal counselling, direction or healing.

Spiritual counselling

Let us sit together, usually via Zoom, Whereby or phone, and ask the God of your understanding, whoever or whatever you might believe them to be, to offer direction on whatever matter you might be searching answers for, or wanting words of comfort, a listening ear or assurance for.

What is spiritual counselling?

Through prayer, compassionate listening and being open to guidance, spiritual counselling offers a sacred space for tuning into the heart. It is relevant for whatever question, difficulty or challenge you may be facing.

"Spiritual counselling" is in many ways an unfortunate term. To counsel might typically have therapeutic connotations, but, for me, to follow such thoughts would be to miss what spiritual counselling is about. This said, spiritual counselling offers an opportunity to attend to whatever might be on a client's mind or heart – working out the way forward in a relationship, coping with a major life change, moving on from past pain, coming through a time of grief, amongst many other situations. It creates a unique space for opening to what the heart has to say, albeit it can also complement other types of counselling and therapy (if appropriate) too. It is always relevant where matters of a 'soul in anguish' are concerned.

This form of counselling is more of a dialogue, created in an especially reserved space. For those who can accept this, including myself as a counsellor, this means inviting the Divine to sit right at the centre of our meeting place, whoever or whatever the Divine is perceived to be and whether or not the meeting place is at one place or virtually created over many miles. This is what I and many others call creating sacred space, a place in which we might be open to divine leading, revelation and exploration.

In this space, counselling aims to help a client find answers to whatever they want to bring to the conversation. This may involve open questions, everyday or earlier-in-the-day thoughts, soul searching and trying to understand why something is happening. Answers come through the questioning, listening and occasionally invited suggestions or thoughts of the counsellor, but most importantly, from what comes into the client's mind and heart. Both for client and counsellor, the Divine is giving a guiding hand, even if this is often silent.

Counselling may at times delve deep. Issues that at first seemed to be upper-most in a client's mind can often be underpinned by hidden motivations, fears, past experiences or subconscious beliefs. Often, they may ultimately be directed at 'life', 'the Universe' or 'God'. Counselling can seek to understand what leads to such attributions and to help reset objective thinking, when this is needed.

Asking for healing or stepping back in time to give assurance to a once troubled child might form a part of the process. As a coach, minister and as someone who has experienced different practices and been exposed to different teachings and perspectives, a counsellor may be able to offer an appropriate reading, guided mediation, suggested practice or prayer to help in any situation. But their role isn't to steer a conversation, merely to be a facilitator and a listening ear, as well as a second brain, heart and body through which the Divine might act.

A counsellor is no kind of expert, though they must be properly trained and supervised to serve their clients with integrity. They are neither miracle-workers, psychologists, nor therapists, although they may have other training and professional experience in these or similar fields. They must understand what the boundaries for the help they can offer are. They must not impose their own beliefs on their clients, but must be sure in their own way of calling upon God. They are companions for helping their client communicate with the God of their own understanding. They must be sincere, able to hold their client, and ready to create sacred space and make space for silence when it's called for. They must put their own priorities and egos at bay. They must come to sessions with an open and loving heart. They must always have a client's best interests at heart.

What is spiritual counselling? In this brief video, I attempt to offer my thoughts on the meaning and value of spiritual counselling. Simply click on the play button above to watch.

About me

Visit my "about" page to find out more about me and interfaith ministry.

My qualifications for counselling

My qualifications and training for this role are strongly grounded in my seminary training, which put heavy emphasis on the skills, ethics and attitudes for counselling. I also have a coaching background, and received extensive training in this field, as well as being a member of several professional bodies. I submit to regular supervision and am committed to a strict Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct

I usually offer counselling via telephone, Skype, Zoom, or VSee (similar to Skype), which most people find no less effective than a face-to-face conversation.

How I suggest engaging with clients

If you think that counselling might be for you and get in touch with me, I'll first aim to understand a little about what you feel you are looking for, as well as to spend a little time for both of us to test whether I am the right person for the job.

I will usually then suggest a free-of-charge trial call and we can set a time for this. This will give you a sense of what counselling is about and so whether it may be appropriate to arrange further calls (in some cases, just one call may at any rate be sufficient).

An initial meeting may be face-to-face or, very often, held by phone, Skype, Zoom, or Whereby as preferred.

I always suggest that, for the protection of my clients, we formalise all counselling relationships by means of an agreement. As much as anything, this lays out my commitments in writing. The agreement format that I suggest can be downloaded from here This can be easily revised if appropriate. My current standard fee for counselling is £65 per hour, although offer concessions for those on limited income.

Please contact me

Please get in touch to find out more or to discuss how I might possibly be able to help you.

Clive Johnson
Email:   clive@clivejohnsonministry.com
Phone:  +44 (0)7956 942980
Skype:  cliverj2

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