New Podcast Episode – Dr Westina Matthews on A Contemplative Approach to Sexuality


Matt Whitney

In the June 2022 issue of Presence Journal, Dr Westina Matthews writes,

“We will not attempt to convince another to adopt any view but rather offer a safe and sacred space to share knowledge and to engage in open and honest dialogue about what is usually considered to be a taboo topic.  In spiritual direction, often resisted is the topic of sex, sexuality, and sexual orientation. We have found that both spiritual director and spiritual directee tend to avoid these “taboos,”

So why the silence? (We) are convinced it is due to the shame.”

How does one begin to overcome this shame?”

In this interview, we talk with Dr Matthews about how spiritual directors and companions can begin to create a safe, holy space in their sessions to allow for safe, brave conversations about sexuality. Approaches, icebreakers questions, acknowledging sexual confusion and harm, and understanding sexuality from a contemplative grounding are discussed.

Dr. Westina Matthews, PhD, is an author, public speaker, retreat leader, and theologian. She is an adjunct professor at General Theological Seminary in the Center for Christian Spirituality in New York, New York, USA, where she teaches contemplative spiritual direction.

Further reading and resources can be found at

Dr. Westina’s website: Westina – Author (

Presence is the flagship publication of SDI. It comes out four times a year, and is an international journal on spiritual direction and companionship. Presence Journal is available in print and on the web to SDI Members. 

Read the current issue on the web, with exclusive video interviews, here: Presence – 28.2 – June 2022 – SDI Companions

Become a Member of SDI and support our work to bring spiritual direction and companionship to the world by clicking here: SDI Membership – Join the Community of Spiritual Companions (

Matt Whitney

Matt Whitney

Matt is the Creative Director for SDI.



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