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David G. Benner (PhD, York University) is an internationally known depth psychologist, author and wisdom teacher whose life's work has been directed toward facilitating human unfolding through a journey of awakening and transformation. He is the founding director, teacher and mentor of Cascadia vis mere Living Wisdom. He has authored many books, including The Spiritual Journey trilogy: Surrender to Love, The Gift of Being Yourself and Desiring God's Will. vis mindre
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Værker af David G. Benner

Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology (1985) — Redaktør — 55 eksemplarer

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In recent years, seminaries have noticed increased demands from their graduates–young men in ministry–desperately seeking more education in one specific area: pastoral counseling.

Ours is a therapeutic age, so it is not at all surprising that folks in the pews are now willing to entertain psychiatric help for various situations and trials in their own lives. Still, modern psychology–and all its assumptions about personhood, spirituality, sexuality, and relationships–pushes many conservative Christians to seek help from a pastor before a therapist. What are pastors to do?

No doubt there is a kind of danger in the increased demand for pastoral counseling. On the one hand, pastoral counseling is taking up more and more time in the pastor’s week, leaving less time for preparing sermons and their duties as churchmen. Moreover, the seemingly endless church scandals suggest counseling dynamics within the church are ripe for abuse.

Still, there is a case, argues Benner, that pastors can meet the expectations and needs of their congregants without sacrificing the traditional role and functions of the pastoral office. One need only think of spiritual counseling as one, specific area of his pastoral obligations, bound and governed by particular rules. For Benner, these regulations include being short-term (ideally, no more than five sessions) and spiritually focused. In pastoral counseling, the pastor ‘stays in his lane,’ so to speak, addressing what he has been trained for and not trying to unravel messes he is not equipped to fix.

For example, a congregant may seek pastoral counseling for marital issues. A pastor may address the ways a failing marriage affects the parishioner’s thoughts about God, his character, and providence. He may point the parishioner to passages in Scripture that challenge distorted views of marriage and spousal relations and prepare us for what reconciliation and love may look like. Further issues, however, may best be resolved with a licensed and trained marriage counselor.

Benner is also right to address the specific setting of pastoral counseling, namely the church. Pastoral counseling can never be understood as something outside or separate from the regular patterns of the local body of Christ. It is a living, spiritual community where individuals receive the blessings of God together, in community, or not at all. Therefore, a pastor ought to consider whether God has prepared other members to assist a fellow believer’s concerns better than himself. Moreover, pastoral counseling must always fit within the confessed doctrines of the body of believers and can never contradict them. There is a danger of affirming the generalities while allowing exceptions in the counseling room. For example, we may find it easy to proclaim the Bible’s position on sexuality from the pulpit while trying to affirm the orientation of individuals in a counseling context. But truth is truth, wherever it is applied.

There is much that pastors will find helpful in Benner’s short manual, ensuring it will be a resource one turns to again and again.
… (mere)
rdhasler | 3 andre anmeldelser | Sep 13, 2022 |
Much is said in Christian circles about knowing God. But there cannot be deep knowledge of God without deep knowledge of one's self. In this profound exploration of Christian identity, psychologist and spiritual director David G. Benner illuminates the spirituality of self-discovery. He exposes the false selves that we hide behind and calls us to discover the true self that emerges from our uniqueness in Christ. Genuine self-understanding revitalizes our spiritual life and leads to the fulfillment of our God-given destiny and vocation. (Publisher)… (mere)
staylorlib | 1 anden anmeldelse | May 17, 2021 |
Feira.noviciado | Apr 14, 2021 |

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