The Queer Spirit Podcast

Episode 7:
A Spiritual Direction Toward Wholeness
with Karen Erlichman


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Karen Erlichman provides psychotherapy, spiritual direction, supervision and So(U)L coaching in San Francisco. Most recently she has been exploring embodied leadership and transformation, and has been inspired by learning at the Strozzi Institute, the Jewish Studio Project and the Center for Courage and Renewal. Karen’s writing has been published in numerous journals, blogs and anthologies, including Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction, Feminist Studies in Religion and in the interfaith anthology Spiritual Guidance Across Religions. She is passionate about creating diverse and welcoming spaces for liberation, embodied spirituality and community.

Episode Highlights

  • Karen starts by helping us understand what spiritual direction counseling is, and why someone might seek it out.
  • We explore what it means to be spiritual versus religious.
  • Karen talks about the importance of discussing the spiritual dimension with clients, and the difference between psychotherapy and spiritual direction work.
  • She shares how she got interested in spiritual work with clients when she felt called to do more than therapy and social work.
  • Karen also does Soul Coaching and explains how it’s different from therapy and spiritual direction work.
  • We explore the idea of wholeness and how spiritual practice can support it in ourselves.
  • We also discuss how a queer persons journey of coming out is a path toward wholeness.
  • Karen shares how she works with trauma by bringing somatic (body) work to her practice.
  • She also talks about the importance of engaging the body in spiritual practice, when it has been seen as dangerous by many traditions.


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