With the insight born out of his own deep experience of both therapeutic and spiritual practice, the author explores what it means to be a pastoral companion. He examines the areas of personal choice and responsibility, regrets and disappointments, appropriate boundary setting and supervision.
- The book I wish I'd written Review by Jan Berry
- Michael focuses on the role of ‘pastoral companion’ in particular Review by TERESA ONIONS, DIRECTOR OF PASTORAL CARE UK (ACC)
Michael focuses on the role of ‘pastoral companion’ in particular, with sensitive awareness of the helping titles we use and the power implications they can have. He sets the scene by enabling the reader to consider that we all have an innate capacity and drive towards growth and development which is either enabled or hindered by the environments around us and which can be affected by the quality of our presence with one another.
Michael is careful, if not passionately insistent, to point out that our presence with another is not about making them who we want them to be or fixing them but trusting a relational process which, bearing the core conditions of congruence, empathy and
unconditional positive regard, enable the other to realise their true selves. In so doing, Michael draws upon the wisdom of the counselling world to help the pastoral companion to see more fully the relational conditions and safe practice which enables those we seek to help to heal, to grow, to discover their potential, to make choices, to take appropriate responsibility and to live life well and to the full.
This book, however, is not just grounded in Michael’s experience and in the world of counselling insights, but in the very fabric of his faith as a Christian. With refreshing respect for those of the same faith, those of other faith and those of non, Michael applies his theological intelligence and creativity to encourage the reader to think afresh, or for the first time, about the riches of the Genesis and Exodus stories and the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus and how they might be applied to our pastoral relationships. He takes hold of challenging themes such as creation, freedom, responsibility, liberation, incarnation, atonement, suffering and prayer, exposing their complexities and with literary skill and sporadic wit discovering and conveying some of their core simplicities and healing qualities.
Michael, the person behind and within the pages of this book, has a pastoral credibility and passion which shines through, offering us a deep wisdom with which to navigate our pastoral relationships. Perhaps most significantly, he points us towards Christ on the cross who stayed there for us in vulnerability and helplessness and Christ who in resurrection declared ‘this is not the last word, it does not have to be this way’, providing us with a profound and hopeful picture of ‘being there’ and the healing power of presence.
If you are a pastor, or a pastoral carer, or a person who would not label yourself as either but who is deeply concerned to affect the quality of your relationships, to understand what it means to be there for others in a way which liberates them and enables them to flourish, then this book is most worthy of your attention.
(Posted on 03/07/2015)
|Name||Being There - The Healing Power of Presence|
|Size||234mm x 154mm|
|Date Published||3 Jul 2015|
|Lead Time||3 weeks (approx.) if out of stock|