Encountering the Sacred in Psychotherapy: How to Talk with People about Their Spiritual Lives

Encountering the Sacred in Psychotherapy: How to Talk with People about Their Spiritual Lives

Encountering the Sacred in Psychotherapy: How to Talk with People about Their Spiritual Lives

Encountering the Sacred in Psychotherapy: How to Talk with People about Their Spiritual Lives

Synopsis

Essential for exploring the creative and healing possibilities in people's spiritual and religious experience, while countering ways it can do harm, this compassionate book belongs on the shelves of therapists and counselors from a variety of backgrounds, including clinical psychology, psychiatry, family therapy, social work, pastoral counseling, and nursing.

Excerpt

“Blest be the tie that binds…”

The singing of the blessing begins, all the voices of my kin, all who can come to the Christmas reunion of the descendants of Mose and Minnie Rivers Elliott. We are crowded together, hands joined in a circle in Aunt Sue's den in Water Valley, Mississippi. I am not often in this circle now. Geography and schedules have recently kept me and my family away more years than not, but being at the gathering in the days of my childhood was as constant as Christmas itself. I don't know how old I was when I noticed my daddy's eyes glistening on the last verse:

“When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.”

At some point, I came to know that all together my family held the memory of those who had passed on, held them in the circle still, with longing and with gratitude.

In the moments of fear and despair in my life, this hymn sings to me and I can know that I am not alone. It is the knowledge that I am not only connected to the Water Valley circle, but to other circles, broken and repaired, past and future, seen and unseen, which allows me to be in . . .

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