Revitalizing Faith Through Pastoral Counseling

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9780687095889: Revitalizing Faith Through Pastoral Counseling

Ryan LaMothe believes that pastoral counseling involves the practice and process of offering and creating a relationship and communal space where persons can revitalize their faith. He provides a faith-psychological model for understanding the practice of pastoral counseling as one of revitalizing faith.

LaMothe explores how the experience of faith emerges in human development and how the organizations of these experiences are present in the counseling relationship.  LaMothe sets the stage by describing faith as vital concern and studying the dynamics of faith in human interactions.  He argues that it is not so much efficacy, meaning, purpose, or pleasure that motivate people, but rather the desire to experience being alive and real, which are understood as faith experiences.  He addresses the development of embodied experiences of faith: how a child's developing capacities to make use of objects--in concert with caregivers' responses--partially transform embodied organizations of faith experience into more complex and differentiated organizations of faith experience.  A person's capacities for symbolization, narrative construction, and self-reflexivity are seen as critical to shared experiences of faith.  Later, LaMothe offers three manifestations of corrupted faith in human development and pastoral counseling, namely, fused faith and the disrupted self; protected faith and the defective self; and collective faith and the borrowed self.  Finally, a trinitarian theology is used as a lens for understanding the theory and model of faith development that is offered in this book.

"Ryan LaMothe, in my opinion, joins the ranks of those select few who are able to give voice to a comprehensive and coherent faith perspective in the practice of pastoral counseling. He has used technical concepts without being obtuse, he has spoken prophetically in confronting lazy pragmatic embracing of whatever works, and he has given to the discipline a well articulated construct of faith as vital concern. The metaphor of life or vitality, he says, 'alters the very process and goals of therapy.' Those who teach and train and supervise pastoral counseling will be grateful for his labor."--Barry Click, American Association of Pastoral Counselors Diplomate and Director of the Samaritan Counseling Services, Jackson, Mississippi; from the Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling, Vol. 57 No. 2, Summer 2003.

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About the Author:

Ryan LaMothe is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at St. Meinrad School of Theology. He holds the M. Div degree from the University of Notre Dame and the Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. He is a member of the Society of Pastoral Theology, the American Academy of Religion, the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and the National Association of Christian Counselors.

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LaMothe, Ryan
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