How we construct meaning comes from our own background and history, unique constitution and interface with others. In training as therapists we undertake our own psychotherapy, counselling or psychoanalysis. We hope to understand others better through understanding ourselves more. We now consider issues around social class, gender and race. However, how much do we consider religious difference in our tolerant western society?
Coming from an agnostic Jewish background I was moved by the words of a deeply religious abuse survivor: 'It hurt me to have heard you describe yourself as agnostic. How will you understand my religious experiences that are so life-saving to me? In order to go to someone to share something of my pain, must I also face another area of my life not being shared?'
This book, co-edited by a committed Christian in Terri Spy and an agnostic in Cynthia Ransley, both distinguished integrative psychotherapists, allows such painful dilemmas and differences to be faced. Indeed, it was the request of a Christian patient who wished to forgive her parents for childhood abuse that led the agnostic Ransley to discuss the term 'forgiveness' with the Christian Terri Spy, who saw it as an integral part of the therapeutic process. An impressive range of other sources and religious beliefs also inform the book.
This book comes from the quest of one brave client, 'Charlotte' and includes the journey of another, 'Joy'. It includes the lived experience of the fine group of writers/thinkers/practitioners gathered here. It is a rare source book, a wake-up book and an invigorating and moving read.