I’ll be honest, my brain hurts. I just got out of my third cell physiology exam for the semester. The past few weeks we’ve been talking all about DNA. Lots and lots of DNA. What did we cover? I was expected to be able to address the following points in excruciating detail (this isn’t the test, just topics):
“Why has Jesus let me suffer so much?”
This was the question one of my clients asked me a couple weeks ago. I saw eyes filled with confusion and pain as she looked to me for the answer. It was an answer I couldn’t give her. Part of me felt helpless as I longed to give her some profound explanation that would bring some degree of consolation and understanding to her heart.
In my last blog I briefly touched upon the use of fiction novels in bibliotherapy. I know sometimes the idea of fiction being used in therapy seems a touch odd. I mean, you don’t hand a client Silence of the Lambs and tell them to try and get something therapeutic out of it. Silence of the Lambs is dark. It’s gritty. It’s got a cannibal in it for goodness sake, who ate a man’s liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti!
“Oh, my soul!” have countless poets proclaimed in pain. Shakespeare, Homer, Poe, and many more have derived the soulful expanse of their pain in simple but stunning statements such as this. Indeed, we can see and even feel in pain, something more, something as deep as our soul. It is as if the depth and intensity of one’s pain makes us question greater realities
Step Four: (D) Develop Concrete Growth-Action Plans Collaboratively
-Assist clients in developing practical plans to take action on the part or parts of the problem they have chosen.
–The plan should focus initially on parts of their problems that they have decided can be solved or at least improved.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul explains that each individual has been given particular talents and graces which combine to create a unique gift which they can offer the world. However as I reflect on this passage, I believe that this list also outlines the necessary skills and talents of pastoral counselors. As pastoral counselors, we are called to prophecy, minister, psycho-educate, and encourage our clients as we attempt to bring them to healing and growth.