4304, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33338-4304
|Books about positive values, spirituality, and counseling
by John Hinkle, Ph.D.
The author of this book
has an appreciation for both scientific and spiritual worlds as
these bear on an understanding of humanness and the processes of
change. He has read widely and well concerning the relationship
between values, faith, spirituality, and accountability/responsibility.
The insights from these
readings are seasoned by the wisdom that comes from his thirty six
years of therapeutic pastoral clinical teaching and practice. He
formulates and presents subtle and sophisticated ideas in a very
readable style. He has thought these matters through in more detail
and with more care than any other author. A reader will not be left
wondering, "What does he mean?"
Conley examines the basic
assumptions by which we live. He spells out the impact of examining
those assumptions in a therapeutic relationship. He brings a subtle
and penetrating perceptivity to the discussion, keeping in mind
the whole as well as the parts in his presentation. His comments
on the relationship between values and spirituality break new ground,
as do his thoughts on psychotherapy and faith. He illuminates the
links between values and faith on the one hand, and therapeutic
method on the other, as he turns theory into practice.
In an era when mental
health professionals, among others, are becoming aware of the necessity
for a re-examination of the topic of spirituality and values, this
book will be of great interest to all who seek to be both informed
and reflective with regard to the fundamentals of psychotherapy,
healing, and spirituality, that is, growth in the context of wholeness.
The actual or potential
client, the student-in-training, the professional therapist, the
practical theologian, the clinical supervisor, the teacher; each
will be interested in the material presented in this book. The book
should be required reading in all programs of counselor training,
regardless of profession or specialization.
This material is most
timely. We are experiencing a period of history characterized by
a re-thinking of context. The shift in cosmologies brought about
by technology has raised the question of value premises (basic assumptions)
with considerable force. Coping with this new context entails consciousness
raising and reflective thought concerning globalization, inter-cultural
and techno-logical communication, that is, cultural as well as individual
values. This post-modern era involves a re-thinking of economic,
political, philosophical, ethical, and religious ideas and practices.
The individual values
that provide a basis for identity are fundamental to such an enterprise.
Yet such values are not well understood. The author makes sense
of the topic, and guides the reader in doing so. He is able to relate
values to both healing and spirituality in a framework that draws
upon recent insights into the nature of physical and social, as
well as interpersonal reality. This
is no superficial treatment. Yet the reader is able to follow and
master the argument so that awareness and understanding are enhanced.
Hence, application becomes quite feasible.
The thesis of the following
material is that, "...the communication of our positive values provides
the healing power of the psychotherapeutic process." (p. 37.) The
task to which we are invited is to identify our most fundamental
values, and the ways in which those values (and value premises)
are reflected in both the theory and the technique of psychotherapy.
And, "the further thesis
of the book is that the functional application of positive values
creates a spiritual as well as emotional connection with others,
with the world in which we live, and with a life-force in the universe
which is the ultimate source of healing power." (p.39.)
This reader awaits with
eagerness the expansion of the material presented herein to the
context of the intercultural and cross-cultural counseling enterprise.
While Benjamin Conley has, in my view, made a coherent and persuasive
case for the central role of values in psychotherapy, he has done
so in a single-culture setting. The task that awaits is one of transposing
to other cultural settings the approach that is set forth with such
The Rev. Dr. John
K Hinkle, Ph.D. Professor, Pastoral Psychology and Counseling Garrett-Evangelical
Theological Seminary Evanston, Illinois