Happiness comes from living by fundamental values. . . You can use those values to create
emotional and spiritual depth in your life, and increase intimacy in your love relationships.

 

 

 

 

BOOK DETAILS:


PO Box 4304, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33338-4304
Books about positive values, spirituality, and counseling

Forward 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 competence here.

The Rev. Dr. John K Hinkle, Ph.D. Professor, Pastoral Psychology and Counseling Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Evanston, Illinois

 

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