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Many Voices

Pastoral Psychotherapy in Relational and Theological Perspective

By Pamela Cooper-White

Publication Year: 2011

Many Voices is a must-read textbook for pastoral psychotherapists and pastoral counselors in clinical training as well as a guide for those in professional practice. In it Cooper-White harvests the great potential of postmodern sensibilities to help, accompany, and support individuals, couples, and families in recognizing and healing especially painful psychic wounds or longstanding patterns of self-defeating relationships to self and others. In Part 1 she shows how multiplicity and relationality provide a dynamic way of viewing human potential and pain. In Part 2 she unfolds the practical applications of this paradigm for a strongly empathic therapeutic relationship and process.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xii

THIS BOOK is an effort to bridge worlds: contemporary psychoanalytic theory and praxis and pastoral counseling. It offers an overview of pastoral psychotherapeutic theory and practice from a postmodern, relational-psychoanalytic perspective, within the context of a new, postmodern pastoral theology. The book was conceived...

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pp. 1-32

Bea1 first came into my office on a warm September afternoon. She introduced herself nervously, looking downcast. Her voice was very soft and low. She was stylishly dressed and made up, but the overall impression she gave was one of lack of confidence. Long, shiny black hair hung down like a curtain, hiding part of her face. She...

PART 1. A Theological and Theoretical Framework

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pp. 33-49

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Chapter 1. A Relational Understanding of Persons

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pp. 35-66

ALL THEOLOGY, but especially pastoral theology, begins with human beings, and in particular, the pain and brokenness of the human condition (and indeed, all creation). Pastoral theology takes suffering as its starting place1—in Jürgen Moltmann’s words, “the open wound of life in this world.”2 The classic pastoral functions, as...

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Chapter 2. A Relational Understanding of God

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pp. 67-94

IT WAS ALREADY IMPOSSIBLE in the preceding chapter to describe the human person without making reference to God. As psychoanalysis, postmodern philosophy, and brain science all converge on a conception of the human being—and indeed, creation— as more multiple, complex, and in motion than we had previously thought...

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Chapter 3. A Relational Understandingof Health and Unhealth

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pp. 95-132

THIS DREAM CAME TO ME years ago when I was still a graduate student in pastoral counseling, two nights before I first tried to write a summary of my understandings of psychological health and unhealth. My immediate association was to an orchid plant given to me as a congratulations gift after passing the Episcopal ordination...

PART 2. Practicing Pastoral Psychotherapy

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pp. 133-149

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Chapter 4. The Therapeutic Process: Overview and Getting Started

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pp. 135-183

While psychotherapy as such did not exist prior to the nineteenth century, human beings have always sought wise companionship to help them strengthen relationships and to heal from emotional and spiritual distress. The “cure of souls” (cura animarum) and the “cure” or “care” of psyches belong to a long tradition, branches...

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Chapter 5. The Middle Phase and Termination:Multiplicity in Action

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pp. 185-238

The foundation for all effective therapeutic work is empathy.2 Rather than a classical analytical “blank screen,”3 it is important for the therapist to be warm and genuine and to have “unconditional positive regard” for the patient (though not necessarily for everything the patient says or does). The therapist offers an honest,...

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Chapter 6. The Therapeutic Sensibility: Chaos, Silence, Love

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pp. 239-248

TOWARD THE BEGINNING of chapter 4, I suggested that there are two kinds of answer to the question of how pastoral psychotherapy is actually done. The first involves the actual techniques that a therapist must learn and practice with increasing sensitivity and skill, as described in the previous two chapters. But the second, and perhaps...


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pp. 249-265


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pp. 251-324

Glossary of Psychoanalytic Terms

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pp. 325-338

Index of Names

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pp. 339-341

Index of Subjects

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pp. 343-357

Index of Biblical References

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pp. 359-378

E-ISBN-13: 9781451415407
E-ISBN-10: 1451415400
Print-ISBN-13: 9780800698706
Print-ISBN-10: 0800698703

Page Count: 374
Publication Year: 2011