I read a paragraph in "Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit" published by Protecting Veil. On page 16 of the Intro it says "
The ability of the elder to take your soul and your will into his soul and will is a fruit of his own willingness to empty himself and thus make room for others. This self-emptying is not superficial, but ontological, such that there is a real identification of the elder with the life of his spiritual child. Such a total commitment to other people requires complete self-sacrifice, as well as advancement along the spiritual path. Without experiential knowledge of the spiritual path the elder is practically unable to help others. There is a reference to St John Climacus that explains this necessary aspect of the elder:" A genuine teacher is he who has received from God the table of spiritual knowledge, inscribed by His Divine finger, that is, by the in-working of illumination, and who has no need of other books."
When experiential knowledge of the spiritaul path is absebt humanity seeks other ways to heal with its spiritual illnesses. The Holy Spirit, abiding in the Church and guiding Her into all truth (John 16:13) since Pentecost, has taught the Church the ways of spiritual healing, establishing in Her as a "spiritual hospital." The elder acts as both as this hospital's finest surgeon as well as its chief medical school instructor.
Blessings to all