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  • Being There - The Healing Power of Presence

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Being There - The Healing Power of Presence

Kevin Mayhew

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Product Code: 1501486

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With the insight born out of his own deep experience of both therapeutic and spiritual practice,
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.
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  • Michael Forster


Product Code1501486
NameBeing There - The Healing Power of Presence
SupplierKevin Mayhew
AuthorMichael Forster
Short DescriptionWith the insight born out of his own deep experience of both therapeutic and spiritual practice,
Pack Size1
Size234mm x 154mm
Count160 Pages
Date Published3 Jul 2015
Lead Time3 weeks (approx.) if out of stock
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Hey this book is really good! I really like the writing style and feel it makes some great points Review by Amazon User
Star Rating
Hey this book is really good! I really like the writing style and feel it makes some great points – I especially liked the bit on Empathy. I believe this book will do an important service to the cross-pollination of the disciplines of psychology and ministry. I was most struck by the section on not having expectations about how a person will be or what they will do, but rather respecting their otherness. The book also offers an important reminder that just 'being there' having cups of tea with people, listening, without expectations or trying to get anything may be all some people need. As we are all involved in relationships in some way or another, this book is really a book for everyone. Highly recommended! (Posted on 09/03/2017)
The book I wish I'd written Review by Jan Berry
Star Rating
The book I wish I'd written – for years I have been teaching pastoral care to ordinands and other prospective church leaders, drawing on my pastoral experience and counselling training. Michael Forster's book brings together the best insights of person-centred counselling and pastoral wisdom in a book that is an invaluable resource for ministers and pastoral carers. (Posted on 27/06/2016)
Michael focuses on the role of ‘pastoral companion’ in particular Review by TERESA ONIONS, DIRECTOR OF PASTORAL CARE UK (ACC)
Star Rating
In his book Being There: The Healing Power of Presence, Michael Forster has applied the tapestry of his life experience to the exploration of what it means to be available for another in a pastoral relationship in a way which enables them to be, and to be the best they can become.
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)

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Michael Forster

Michael is an ordained minister and a qualified counsellor, recently retired from his post as an NHS mental health chaplain.

Find out more about Michael Forster  Click here