Faith, Hope, and Therapy:
Counseling with St. Paul
by Robert Grainger Trafford Publishing

"Counseling psychologists work in the secular world of everyday. People don't come to them for religious advice. A Christian priest employed in a job like this has to learn to speak a different language."

Dr. Grainger is in the unique position of being both an Anglican priest and a counseling psychologist. Though his faith in God is quite strong, he is often forced to choose his words carefully as he counsels those who are not religious. Because most of his clients are not seeking religious advice, he has to avoid the subject of faith, even when the clients are dealing with issues that are spiritual in nature.

In this book Grainger details experiences with several clients and explains how biblical stories and religion have helped him counsel more effectively. Andrea suffers from a severe identity crisis, and Grainger compares her journey of self-discovery to the transformation and conversion of St. Paul. Another client, Andrew, worries that his depression signifies a lack of faith, which launches a discussion of faith and God's love. Mrs. Ingram, a widow grieving for her husband, tests Grainger's patience by repeating her woes endlessly. He describes how the virtue of patience is crucial in therapists, comparing it to the patience of the biblical Christians who awaited the coming of Christ.

Grainger seamlessly weaves stories of clients with biblical quotes and theories of psychotherapy. The book is a fascinating study of religion and psychology, providing invaluable advice and insight for both psychologists and clients alike. It is also a thought-provoking treatise on many philosophical issues such as identity and existence, encouraging the reader to delve deeply into these topics. As Grainger mentions in the introduction, this book is meant for "anyone interested in the interface between psychology and religion."

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