This week, Mystic Mag‘s Marko Velimirovic had the opportunity to speak with Rev. Jeffrey Brady, Certified Spiritual Director and Owner of The Soul Clinic LLC. We touched basis on how his career developed, learned how he perceives Spiritual Direction, and what he loves most about his profession.
When did you first know that being a Spiritual Director was your calling and how did it come about?
I’ve been in one form or ministry or another since 2004, but it was all focused on church positions. At a really low, dark point in my life I sought out spiritual direction from the local Catholic priest. He agreed to meet with me, although I was a Protestant with no vision of converting, and a really beautiful journey of truth, openness, and clarity proceeded from that starting point. A few years later I completed lay training in spiritual direction from a now-defunct Ignatian retreat center and began offering it within my ministry positions. After three years of soul-feeding experiences offering direction as a pastor, I knew that God was moving me towards this specific ministry as a new evolution of my ministry calling. I entered Portland Seminary for a postgraduate certificate in Spiritual Direction, and in May 2022 I officially launched my practice, The Soul Clinic, LLC.
What services do you offer?
Primarily I offer spiritual direction to individuals, families, and groups, and I am also certified to offer premarital preparation and mid-marital interventions for couples. Since I retain my ordination I also offer services as a wedding officiant. Over all of this, my favorite form of direction comes through leading prayer retreats. And I now work full-time in a hospital as a chaplain.
How would you describe Spiritual Direction?
My favorite metaphor is akin to unknotting or unkinking a garden hose to restore a full flow of water. A spiritual director will not untie or unkink the hose of your spiritual flow, but through spiritual direction a directee will be guided towards the strength and resources God has already given them to rediscover or restore that spiritual flow within themselves.
A director will not necessarily offer answers or advice, but through a variety of tools such as prayer, silence, Scripture, poetry, art, guided meditation, and critically thought questions, a director will help the directee find the answers and tools that they desire and maybe some that they have not yet realized they need to discover.
What can a person expect from it?
Ultimately, I think peace from within fuels a greater space to understand one’s identity, strengths, weaknesses, purpose, and relationship to God (however one defines that) and the community/world around them. With this peace-fueled foundation, a person can move forward in life and relationships, work and play to find greater fulfillment in every area of life.
What is the most important detail in maintaining a relationship of mutual trust with clients?
Courageous honesty, intentional vulnerability, and healthy boundaries are the tripartite foundation to mutual trust, I believe.
What do you love most about your profession?
Seeing a directee’s breakthroughs towards greater peace, freedom, joy, and love is a miracle that will never cease to make me marvel.