Approaches to Coaching & Spiritual Direction

 Bringing fulfillment to life.

young female physical therapist working with an elderly woman client doing stretches on a yoga mat

Once you’re established in your life and career, making significant changes entails making important decisions. Thinking long and hard isn’t enough. You need a clear path to the opportunities that best suit your values, experience, and skills.

I’m here to create that direct route with you.

As your coach or spiritual director, I’ll be your trustworthy sounding board. I’ll also ask questions that increase awareness about whatever may be holding you back.  After all, my job isn’t just to understand your challenges – it’s to be your partner in seeing different perspectives and in achieving your goals.

I often use a powerful, five-part decision-making process in my coaching. It involves becoming attuned to everything that is going on inside you – thoughts, motivations, desires, and even fears – so we can understand where they’re coming from and where they’re leading you.

Schedule your FREE Exploratory Call.

This complimentary, no obligation, 45-minute discovery call will give you a way to learn how coaching or spiritual direction can help you achieve your goals faster and with greater confidence.

Before the call, you’ll receive thought-provoking questions that will serve as the basis for our conversation. Many find that this alone helps them make significant progress.

By the end of the call you should have a good idea if coaching or spiritual direction is right for you. There’s no obligation to continue, but if it’s the right time, you’ve already taken a great first step!

young woman laughing and looking off into the distance while having a conversation on a cell phone

Frequently Asked Questions

What is coaching? What is spiritual direction?

Coaching is an excellent way to get personal help with establishing your goals, making major life and career decisions, creating and executing plans, and overcoming obstacles that may get in your way.

As a certified life and career coach, I concentrate on both your present life and your desired future, intently listening and asking questions, always believing that only you know what’s best for you in achieving your goals.

You might not know exactly what you want, but know it’s not what you currently have. So coaching is also a discovery process of exploring your desires and needs on your way to finding life and career options that are personally and financially fulfilling. 

Spiritual direction is the ancient process that enables individuals to pay attention and respond to God’s personal communication and, thereby, grow in intimacy with God. As your director, I will accompany you along the way to greater meaning, purpose, freedom and peace.

Thomas Merton, the famous Trappist monk, noted that, “Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul.”

How is coaching different from therapy, counseling and consulting?

Coaching differs from therapy, counseling and consulting in a number of ways. While coaches are experts in the art and science of coaching, they do not need to be subject matter experts. They draw out the innate wisdom of clients by asking targeted questions and by listening intently to what is being said, as well as to what is not being said. Coaches help clients achieve results by being confidential, neutral partners who are objective and non-judgmental. The client plays the lead role in the relationship by doing most of the work of being reflective and not shying away from difficult subjects in the sessions.

Similarly, spiritual directors are not counselors or therapists. Rather, they offer spiritual guidance, while never taking away your freedom to make your own decisions or solve your own problems. Your spiritual director is there to help you to notice and respond to God’s presence and activity in your everyday life.

Consultants have expertise in a specific area. They analyze and address a particular issue and give advice about what needs to be done to remedy a problem or change a situation. The relationship is directive and performance driven with specific deliverables. The consultant plays the lead role in the relationship guiding or teaching the client as the expert.

Therapy often involves psychological problems and is focused on identifying and resolving past issues that interfere with day-to-day functioning. The therapist is in the lead role of the relationship.

Who needs a coach? Who needs a spiritual director?

I’m biased, but I believe everyone can be helped by a coach and a spiritual director.

Successful people invest in themselves. Anyone who’s stuck would benefit from coaching. Often life and career issues are so close to home and emotionally charged that it’s hard to make good decisions on our own – or even to know where to start. If you are looking to achieve specific outcomes related to life and career, then coaching may be for you.

Spiritual Direction is for you if…

  • You desire spiritual and personal growth.
  • You want to deepen your life with prayer and other spiritual practices.
  • You seek a safe place to explore your relationship with God.
  • You want to connect with God in everyday life.
  • You are in a time of uncertainty, transition and discernment.
How do I choose a coach and a spiritual director?

It is essential to find someone with a good reputation who personally resonates with you, and who understands your desires and values. It needs to be someone who you’re comfortable talking with, who you’re confident really “gets” you, and who you feel is worth the investment.

A spiritual director is a mature Christian whom you have chosen, after prayerful consideration, to accompany you, to encourage you, and to challenge you as you strive to respond to God’s invitation to a deeper relationship, which is most often experienced in prayer. 

An effective spiritual director is someone who is:

  • Called and committed to cultivating a life of listening and spiritual accompaniment
  • Able to maintain a prayerful, contemplative stance as they are accompanying others
  • Gifted and practiced in discernment and listening to the Spirit
  • Experienced in a variety of spiritual disciplines that open others to God
  • Trained through a reputable training program
  • In spiritual direction himself and is also in ongoing supervision
How long will I need to work with a coach?

The length of time you work with a coach is dependent on a number of factors:

  1. What is your starting point?
  2. What do you want to achieve?
  3. How fast do you want to get there?

Short-term outcomes are accomplished in two to three months. Long-term outcomes can take six to nine months.

How much does coaching cost? How much does spiritual direction cost?

Professional coaches and spiritual directors base their fees upon their level of training, credentialing, and experience, the length of each session, the number of sessions per month, and other factors. 

Click here for coaching and spiritual direction fees and packages.

How does coaching and spiritual direction take place?

Most often my coaching and spiritual direction is done over the phone or Skype®. Many clients find it convenient to be able to have a coaching or spiritual direction session without leaving their home or office. Coaching sessions are typically scheduled weekly or bi-weekly; whereas spiritual direction generally takes place monthly.

What happens in spiritual direction?

Typically we begin our private, spiritual direction sessions by becoming anchored in the moment in whatever way you prefer. Many choose to do this by spending a few moments in silence or prayer.

As the session continues, I invite you to bring up any topic that you would like to explore by asking, “How would you like to begin?” or “How has God been working in your life these last weeks?” While mostly listening, I may ask a few questions such as: “How were you called to trust God in this experience?” “What does this have to say to you about God?” “Is God nudging you to some action in your life?” “Is God asking you to wait?” “What do you yearn for most?” “For what are you most grateful?”

As our time together draws to a close, I might summarize what I have heard in your story or I might emphasize an insight that the Holy Spirit has brought to light in the session. Then, in between sessions, I will encourage you to participate in spiritual practices that draw you into a deeper relationship with God.

How do I get started?

Contact Luke about an introductory call to get started. We will spend about 30 minutes identifing the outcomes you want to achieve. Think of it as a strategy session to focus on what’s most important to you. Then, if you feel ready to continue, we’ll talk about coaching or spiritual direction options that might be best for you.

Click here to self-schedule your complimentary call.

Who do you work with?

Many of my clients are Catholic, yet not exclusively. These faith-inspired professionals are intelligent, high achievers who have enjoyed success, yet are still not where they want to be. They instinctively know that we all need a little help along the way. They understand that, if they want new results, they have to try new things. Often they seek a deeper sense of meaning and purpose, and a greater sense of fulfillment.

The mission-focused organizations I work with view coaching as a development opportunity. Coaching is an investment in shaping their future leaders or helping them to be more successful in expanded roles.

Do you have recommendations or testimonials?

In addition to a number of recommendations on this website, you can review others on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lukelarsoncoaching.

Can I contact you in-between our scheduled sessions?

Absolutely! If you have a question or would like support in between our meetings – or you just want to share a celebration – simply post a message in the Client Log and I will happily respond as soon as I am able.

Are there professional standards for coaching and spiritual direction?

I am a certified coach and member in good standing with the International Coach Federation, which has a code of ethics, core competencies and accreditation processes. To learn more, click here: http://www.coachfederation.org/ICF. 

I am also a member in good standing with Spiritual Directors International. To read SDI’s Guidelines for Ethical Conduct, click here: http://www.sdiworld.org/sites/default/files/publications/Guidelines%20Revised%202014-proof1-2.pdf

What if I decide it's not right for me? Is there a money back guarantee?

Certainly. I call it my “participate and get your money back” guarantee. If within the first month of our relationship you participate fully in the coaching process, you can simply let me know it is not working for you and I will fully refund your money. To honor the coaching agreement, if you do not show up for your coaching sessions, do not do the preparatory and follow up work, then your money will not be refunded.

My spiritual direction comes with a 60-day (two-session) full money back guarantee.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is coaching? What is spiritual direction?

Coaching is an excellent way to get personal help with establishing your goals, making major life and career decisions, creating and executing plans, and overcoming obstacles that may get in your way.

As a certified life and career coach, I concentrate on both your present life and your desired future, intently listening and asking questions, always believing that only you know what’s best for you in achieving your goals.

You might not know exactly what you want, but know it’s not what you currently have. So coaching is also a discovery process of exploring your desires and needs on your way to finding life and career options that are personally and financially fulfilling. 

Spiritual direction is the ancient process that enables individuals to pay attention and respond to God’s personal communication and, thereby, grow in intimacy with God. As your director, I will accompany you along the way to greater meaning, purpose, freedom and peace.

Thomas Merton, the famous Trappist monk, noted that, “Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul.”

How is coaching different from therapy, counseling and consulting?

Coaching differs from therapy, counseling and consulting in a number of ways. While coaches are experts in the art and science of coaching, they do not need to be subject matter experts. They draw out the innate wisdom of clients by asking targeted questions and by listening intently to what is being said, as well as to what is not being said. Coaches help clients achieve results by being confidential, neutral partners who are objective and non-judgmental. The client plays the lead role in the relationship by doing most of the work of being reflective and not shying away from difficult subjects in the sessions.

Similarly, spiritual directors are not counselors or therapists. Rather, they offer spiritual guidance, while never taking away your freedom to make your own decisions or solve your own problems. Your spiritual director is there to help you to notice and respond to God’s presence and activity in your everyday life.

Consultants have expertise in a specific area. They analyze and address a particular issue and give advice about what needs to be done to remedy a problem or change a situation. The relationship is directive and performance driven with specific deliverables. The consultant plays the lead role in the relationship guiding or teaching the client as the expert.

Therapy often involves psychological problems and is focused on identifying and resolving past issues that interfere with day-to-day functioning. The therapist is in the lead role of the relationship.

Who needs a coach? Who needs a spiritual director?

I’m biased, but I believe everyone can be helped by a coach and a spiritual director.

Successful people invest in themselves. Anyone who’s stuck would benefit from coaching. Often life and career issues are so close to home and emotionally charged that it’s hard to make good decisions on our own – or even to know where to start. If you are looking to achieve specific outcomes related to life and career, then coaching may be for you.

Spiritual Direction is for you if…

  • You desire spiritual and personal growth.
  • You want to deepen your life with prayer and other spiritual practices.
  • You seek a safe place to explore your relationship with God.
  • You want to connect with God in everyday life.
  • You are in a time of uncertainty, transition and discernment.
How do I choose a coach and a spiritual director?

It is essential to find someone with a good reputation who personally resonates with you, and who understands your desires and values. It needs to be someone who you’re comfortable talking with, who you’re confident really “gets” you, and who you feel is worth the investment.

A spiritual director is a mature Christian whom you have chosen, after prayerful consideration, to accompany you, to encourage you, and to challenge you as you strive to respond to God’s invitation to a deeper relationship, which is most often experienced in prayer. 

An effective spiritual director is someone who is:

  • Called and committed to cultivating a life of listening and spiritual accompaniment
  • Able to maintain a prayerful, contemplative stance as they are accompanying others
  • Gifted and practiced in discernment and listening to the Spirit
  • Experienced in a variety of spiritual disciplines that open others to God
  • Trained through a reputable training program
  • In spiritual direction himself and is also in ongoing supervision
How long will I need to work with a coach?

The length of time you work with a coach is dependent on a number of factors:

  1. What is your starting point?
  2. What do you want to achieve?
  3. How fast do you want to get there?

Short-term outcomes are accomplished in two to three months. Long-term outcomes can take six to nine months.

How much does coaching cost? How much does spiritual direction cost?

Professional coaches and spiritual directors base their fees upon their level of training, credentialing, and experience, the length of each session, the number of sessions per month, and other factors. 

Click here for coaching and spiritual direction fees and packages.

How does coaching and spiritual direction take place?

Most often my coaching and spiritual direction is done over the phone or Skype®. Many clients find it convenient to be able to have a coaching or spiritual direction session without leaving their home or office. Coaching sessions are typically scheduled weekly or bi-weekly; whereas spiritual direction generally takes place monthly.

What happens in spiritual direction?

Typically we begin our private, spiritual direction sessions by becoming anchored in the moment in whatever way you prefer. Many choose to do this by spending a few moments in silence or prayer.

As the session continues, I invite you to bring up any topic that you would like to explore by asking, “How would you like to begin?” or “How has God been working in your life these last weeks?” While mostly listening, I may ask a few questions such as: “How were you called to trust God in this experience?” “What does this have to say to you about God?” “Is God nudging you to some action in your life?” “Is God asking you to wait?” “What do you yearn for most?” “For what are you most grateful?”

As our time together draws to a close, I might summarize what I have heard in your story or I might emphasize an insight that the Holy Spirit has brought to light in the session. Then, in between sessions, I will encourage you to participate in spiritual practices that draw you into a deeper relationship with God.

How do I get started?

Contact Luke about an introductory call to get started. We will spend about 30 minutes identifing the outcomes you want to achieve. Think of it as a strategy session to focus on what’s most important to you. Then, if you feel ready to continue, we’ll talk about coaching or spiritual direction options that might be best for you.

Click here to self-schedule your complimentary call.

Who do you work with?

Many of my clients are Catholic, yet not exclusively. These faith-inspired professionals are intelligent, high achievers who have enjoyed success, yet are still not where they want to be. They instinctively know that we all need a little help along the way. They understand that, if they want new results, they have to try new things. Often they seek a deeper sense of meaning and purpose, and a greater sense of fulfillment.

The mission-focused organizations I work with view coaching as a development opportunity. Coaching is an investment in shaping their future leaders or helping them to be more successful in expanded roles.

Do you have recommendations or testimonials?

In addition to a number of recommendations on this website, you can review others on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lukelarsoncoaching.

Can I contact you in-between our scheduled sessions?

Absolutely! If you have a question or would like support in between our meetings – or you just want to share a celebration – simply post a message in the Client Log and I will happily respond as soon as I am able.

Are there professional standards for coaching and spiritual direction?

I am a certified coach and member in good standing with the International Coach Federation, which has a code of ethics, core competencies and accreditation processes. To learn more, click here: http://www.coachfederation.org/ICF. 

I am also a member in good standing with Spiritual Directors International. To read SDI’s Guidelines for Ethical Conduct, click here: http://www.sdiworld.org/sites/default/files/publications/Guidelines%20Revised%202014-proof1-2.pdf

What if I decide it's not right for me? Is there a money back guarantee?

Certainly. I call it my “participate and get your money back” guarantee. If within the first month of our relationship you participate fully in the coaching process, you can simply let me know it is not working for you and I will fully refund your money. To honor the coaching agreement, if you do not show up for your coaching sessions, do not do the preparatory and follow up work, then your money will not be refunded.

My spiritual direction comes with a 60-day (two-session) full money back guarantee.

What Clients are Saying


"Being an entrepreneur, I often confront uncertainty. What path should I take?  What amount of effort and resources should I expend? I needed a personal coach and decision making methodology to guide me through some tough decisions. I chose Luke, not only because of his experience in professional coaching, but also because of his grounding in Ignatian discernment and spirituality which offers over 450 years of history in leading people to make informed decisions based on their most authentic desires. Luke’s processes and guidance helped me to focus my efforts and gave me great confidence in the choices I made."

Tom McGuigan, Chicago, Illinois

"I needed someone to be objectively invested in my personal and professional development, who understood my values and would hold me accountable to them during a time of transition.  Even though I was working diligently on achieving my goals, I didn't have the confidence to attain them on my own.  Then a friend suggested that I contact Luke. Immediately I sensed Luke's integrity and spirituality. I knew he could be trusted. When I read his biography, I saw that he also has the professional credentials that are important. Luke truly cares. He helped me to attain my goals and launch a new career that is providing a quality of life I had only dreamed of."

Deborah Keefe, MSW Educator/Speaker/Consultant - Music as a Therapeutic Intervention in Healthcare

"I was trying to discern what I would like to be doing post-retirement, and had somehow managed to turn my retirement into a career crisis. Did I want to directly leverage my corporate career, or try something completely different? How to choose from several possible paths? Weighty stuff, this, and too important to go it alone. I wanted someone to bounce ideas off, and to challenge my thinking. 

I really enjoyed the quick rapport I had with Luke. His approachable, empathic personality drew me out, and his questions were both supportive and challenging. I also found that preparing for our calls helped me organize my thinking in ways not possible when I had been trying to do this on my own. As a result of decision coaching I have embarked on a new career, one that affords the opportunity to counsel people one-on-one, which is enormously satisfying at this stage in my life

Garrett Adie, Independent Financial Advisor, New Hampshire

"It was as the Director of Talent Development Programs for one of the largest Catholic health systems that I came to know and appreciate Luke Larson’s giftedness as a coach. Luke coached dozens of our high potential CEOs, vice presidents and directors across the system, always within the framework of our mission and values. Without exception, they lauded Luke’s remarkable ability to get them to see things from other perspectives. Whether you are seeking coaching or spiritual direction, I highly recommend Luke Larson."

Carolyn Foss - MBA, MCA, ACC
Executive Director at The Physician Leadership Institute™ Center for Transformation and Innovation

"I've been consistently impressed with Luke's gentle and intuitive style, and how he very quickly generates trust in his client relationships. Luke reminds me of a master artist or professional athlete with whom you can watch them at their craft, and it seems so fluid and easy, all the while knowing the discipline and skill behind the practice. As has been Luke's life, he lives a spiritual practice and brings that strength with him in his work, so that lives, spirits, and hearts are touched and emerge far better for having known and worked with him."

Joy Goldman - RN, MS, PCC, CPC
Healthcare Executive and Physician Leadership Coach

"I absolutely loved the Lenten Retreat. I felt that God had guided you to write this retreat specifically for me. It took me into the desert and blessed me with great spiritual growth and insight. I appreciate the extra week (Holy Week), which gave me extra time to “hear” what God wanted to say to me. Thank you, once again, Mr. Larson, for sharing your gifts!"

Retreatant in Missoula, Montana