Changing Life Patterns: Adult Development in Spiritual Direction
“Changing Life Patterns” explores the relationship between adult development and spiritual guidance, focusing on the experiences of four individuals (Mary Beth, Roger, Tom, and Katherine) and their congregation, Eastminster Presbyterian Church. Author Elizabeth Liebert extends and clarifies the dialogue between contemporary insights into human development and spiritual guidance. Spiritual guidance encompasses pastoral responses that raise awareness of God's call and appropriate responses, while spiritual direction is a more personalized form of spiritual guidance. The book adopts a developmental perspective to examine how individuals and congregations change over time and how these developmental dynamics impact spiritual guidance.
Liebert explores assumptions about human development, stages of adult development, and the implications for spiritual direction. She emphasizes the importance of communication, empathy, and understanding individual frames of reference in spiritual guidance. “Changing Life Patterns” also expands the developmental perspective to explore the formational processes within congregational spiritual guidance. While focused on spiritual direction, the book also provides insights for ministers, spiritual guides, and other professionals involved in facilitating the spiritual growth of others.
Liebert also highlights the underrepresentation of women's voices and experiences in personality sciences and spiritual traditions and includes research that focuses on women's experiences. “Changing Life Patterns” offers a developmental lens to deepen our understanding of human development and its implications for spiritual guidance and growth in Christ.