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Counselling, Psychotherapy and Religion: Reclaiming Forgotten Histories; Making New Meanings Liz Bondi and Alette Willis The University of Edinburgh.

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Presentation on theme: "Counselling, Psychotherapy and Religion: Reclaiming Forgotten Histories; Making New Meanings Liz Bondi and Alette Willis The University of Edinburgh."— Presentation transcript:

1 Counselling, Psychotherapy and Religion: Reclaiming Forgotten Histories; Making New Meanings Liz Bondi and Alette Willis The University of Edinburgh

2 Counselling, Psychotherapy and Religion The development of counselling and psychotherapy in the UK On the role of religion – alternative stories – Churches as institutions – Religion and spirituality in the lives of key people Impacts of secularisation Reclaiming and making available alternative stories

3 The development of counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, Inter-war years – private sector availability 1940s – first third sector services – Davidson Clinic for Medical Psychotherapy (1941) – Edinburgh Marriage Guidance Council (1946) NHS provision – limited specialist services

4 The development of counselling and psychotherapy in the UK since 1960 Late 1960s/early 1970s – expansion of third sector counselling provision 1990s– professionalisation of counselling and demarcation from other forms of support 2000s–expansion of services in NHS primary care (IAPT, CBT) Influence of evidence-based health care and incorporation into quasi-medical model

5 On the role of religion: Churches as institutions (1) Senior church figures on boards of governors -Marriage Guidance Councils -Davidson Clinic (connections to Church of Scotland, Episcopal Church and Roman Catholic Church) Counselling and psychotherapy as new expressions of vocation and new forms of ministry

6 On the role of religian: Churches as institutions (2) Churches as providers of counsellor training and counselling services -Church of Scotland Board of Social Responsibility -Scottish Marriage Care Counselling and psychotherapy as community outreach

7 On the role of religion: Christian counselling Overtly Christian forms of counselling – Pastoral counselling in congregational settings – Association of Christian Counsellors

8 On the role of religion: Religion and spirituality in the lives of key people Winifred Rushforth psychotherapeutic treatment can bring about miracles of healing which are the fulfilment of Divine purpose Guru of New Age spirituality Lasting legacy (e.g. Wellspring)

9 On the role of religion: Religion and spirituality in the lives of key peopleAlan Exploratory small groups – bible study, house groups, therapy [I] became very aware that people were coming to courses on TA, not to learn TA but because here was the church offering a space where they could be heard, and where they could ask questions […] and explore […] using another language alongside theology. […] people were asking spiritual questions, they were asking questions about themselves and their difficulties and their relationships and that whole area but they were also asking theological questions

10 Impacts of Secularisation Downplaying the historic and continuing involvement of churches and Christian values and beliefs From religion to discourses of spirituality Ive often wondered what on earth I would do in the parish. Ministry is about facilitating, its about listening to where the other person is before I say anything about where I am. I would have problems with sermons. I think I would still manage [… but] its just as well Im not in the parish! Retirements a great thing. (Alan)

11 Reclaiming and making available alternative stories Stories as how we make sense of the world and ourselves Dominant stories – master narratives Making space for alternative stories

12 Alans story: Different Strands Coming Together I grew up as a conservative Evangelical Very enthusiastic. A son of the manse. Throughout my childhood I desperately wanted To get my fathers attention. I think I got God and father mixed up Because he had the authority And by Jove he used it I had polio It was a kids hospital Great fun. I remember being quite sad to go home. Hospital was an insight It was a community to which I belonged Because I walked with a limp. In the New College residence We were all boys together There was a real good community But underground There was a battle Between the old way And whatever the new was to be.

13 A fresh glimpse of something It was daily bible study It was all about small groups It was quite open Trusting people and their experience We moved to Cumbernauld Great people from all over the place All thrown together In a place that had Little sense of community I think the child in me rebelled And said I dont know where I am any more I was very challenged Within two years I had a collapse The old patterns collapsed I couldnt deny the battle That was an awful time There was no tradition to fall back on Old things Id relied on Even although Id rebelled against them No longer held water It was a huge turning point There were eight of us in this group Who all suffered from panic I went to that group Longer than I needed Because I belonged there It was a small group again.

14 Three of us together Formed a real strong ministry team And we got in tow with Clinical theology We put into practice What we were learning together Learning to be open with one another Somewhere around there TA becomes a thing in the Church of Scotland I was trained as a tutor So all this was part of my ministry And I was having insights Into connections Ministry, therapy, small groups I got into spiritual direction and retreat work Different strands were coming together And that is what excites me. Everything was grist to the mill. What leads to life for you? What does that say about your faith? Sometimes I wonder What on earth Im doing here. There must be more than this. What is the more? Do I call that God Or do I call that something else?

15 Im afraid of death when I think about it You can see the roots of this I dont know if there is anything Theres no ultimate certainty In what I understand or believe I think the spiritual is what animates What makes me alive What gives me life What is the fullness of life However we describe it. I know an awful lot less than I used to. Its just as well Im not in the parish Retirement is a wonderful thing.

16 Dramatic form Mike Maran Did You Used to be R.D. Laing

17 Liz Bondi Alette Willis


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