Transforming Self and Community: Revisioning Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction  -     By: Len Sperry
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Transforming Self and Community: Revisioning Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction

Liturgical Press / 2002 / Paperback

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Product Description

Both spiritual direction and pastoral counseling tend to be partially responsive to client needs and expectations. Many of the theories underlying the practice of spiritual direction and pastoral counseling are based more on psychology than spirituality. They minimize or exclude character and moral concerns and may even unintentionally foster individualism and spiritual narcissism. Transforming Self and Community offers an approach to spiritual direction and pastoral counseling that is holistic, that integrates spiritual and moral constructs with the psychological and emphasizes all aspects of transformation, including social transformation. The integrative approach in Transforming Self and Community provides psychological, spiritual, and moral perspectives for understanding and assisting individuals with their spiritual journey of development. It describes and illustrates clinically useful guidelines for the practice of spiritual direction and pastoral counseling. It includes case studies as well as figures, tables, and charts that highlight and summarize main text points. Transforming Self and Community is primarily for professionals who practice, teach, or are learning how to do spiritual direction or pastoral counseling. Nevertheless, spiritual seekers, clients, or prospective clients of spiritual direction or pastoral counseling will also find this book enlightening.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 216
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2002
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.37 (inches)
ISBN: 0814628036
ISBN-13: 9780814628034
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

Catholic Press Association Award Winner!

Both spiritual direction and pastoral counseling tend to be partially responsive to client needs and expectations. Many of the theories underlying the practice of spiritual direction and pastoral counseling are based more on psychology than spirituality. They minimize or exclude character and moral concerns and may even unintentionally foster individualism and spiritual narcissism. Transforming Self and Community offers an approach to spiritual direction and pastoral counseling that is holistic, that integrates spiritual and moral constructs with the psychological and emphasizes all aspects of transformation, including social transformation.

The integrative approach inTransforming Self and Community provides psychological, spiritual, and moral perspectives for understanding and assisting individuals with their spiritual journey of development. It describes and illustrates clinically useful guidelines for the practice of spiritual direction and pastoral counseling. It includes case studies as well as figures, tables, and charts that highlight and summarize main text points.

Transforming Self and Community is primarily for professionals who practice, teach, or are learning how to do spiritual direction or pastoral counseling. Nevertheless, spiritual seekers, clients, or prospective clients of spiritual direction or pastoral counseling will also find this book enlightening.

The book has eight chapters. Chapter 1 surveys and describes trends in the current practice of pastoral counseling and spiritual direction. Chapter 2 reviews four prominent theories underlying the practice of pastoral counseling and spiritual direction. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 provide detailed review of various constructs in the spiritual, psychological, and moral perspectives as they relate to the practice of pastoral counseling and spiritual direction. Chapter 6 presents a holistic model which integrates key constructs from the spiritual perspective, the moral perspective, and the perspective dimension in relationship to the outcome dimensions of transformation. Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 illustrate the integrative model in action. Finally, Chapter 9 summarizes the main points of the book and speculates on future developments regarding the theory and practice of spiritual direction and pastoral counseling.

Chapters are Spirituality, Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Counseling: Recent Trends, "Theoretical Bases of Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction," "Spiritual Perspective on Transformation," "Moral Perspective on Transformation," "Psychological Perspective on Transformation," "An Integrative Model of Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Counseling," "An Integrative Approach to Spiritual Direction: A Case Study," "An Integrative Approach to Pastoral Counseling: A Case Study," "Spirituality, Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Counseling: Some Future Prospects."

Len Sperry, MD, PhD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a professor at Barry University. He has practiced spiritually attuned psychotherapy, pastoral counseling, and spiritual direction for over 30 years and has written more than 30 books including Ministry and Community published by Liturgical Press.

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Author Bio

Len Sperry, MD, PhD, is a professor at Florida Atlantic University and at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He consults to dioceses and religious orders and is on 10 editorial boards including Psychology of Religion & Spirituality. Among his 600+ publications are the award winning Transforming Self and Community: Revisioning Pastoral Counseling & Spiritual Direction; Sex, Priestly Ministry & the Church, and Spirituality in Clinical Practice (2ed).

Editorial Reviews

Transforming Self and Community has the potential to also transform spiritual direction and pastoral counseling. Dr. Len Sperry not only correctly analyzes the current weaknesses in spiritual direction and pastoral counseling but also presents a corrective, holistic model. I know of no other book on spiritual direction that has such breadth in examining all theories and such depth in focusing on what is too often neglected in human experience.
Rev. Matthew Linn, SJ, Author, trainer in the Sacred Ground spiritual direction program

Dr. Sperry's Transforming Self and Community is an exceptional contribution to the fields of spirituality and psychology as well as the intersection of these disciplines. Sperry's lifetime of experience and training, his keenness of perception, and a gift for clarity make this book a must read for anyone interested in psychology, spirituality, and pastoral counseling.
Keith J. Egan, The Aquinas Chair in Catholic Theology, St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana

Dr. Sperry reviews some key assumptions about the therapeutic as currently practiced under the aegis of Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction. He then moves with deliberate focus to the theoretical frameworks on which many of those assumptions stand. He argues cogently against movements, practices or unchallenged models, which, in the end, suggest that anything less than a complete appreciation and use of an integrative approach to psychology and spiritual development should be embraced uncritically.
The Catholic Journalist

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