Where the Waters Meet: Convergence and Complementarity in Therapy and Theology

Author(s) : David Buckley

Where the Waters Meet: Convergence and Complementarity in Therapy and Theology

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Where the Waters Meet offers the reader a new way of viewing an old subject. So often psychology and counselling therapies have been, and still are, seen as competitors, or even enemies, vying for supremacy as the true religion. This book invites us to take a fresh look at these two fields, each with their own experience and dogma, and view them in a different light. We are introduced to complementarity, an approach through which vital common factors begin to break through the barriers of convention and jargon. This book is written from deeply held convictions about faith and about therapy and emerges from several decades of experience in ordained ministry, and of working as a psychodynamic counsellor. David Buckley is passionate about both the healing process of therapy and the life-giving inspiration of faith. He sees the two not as enemies but as intrinsically linked.

Reviews and Endorsements

'Good theology, like good therapy, makes you think and feel in new ways. David Buckley does just that and offers a fresh and stimulating contribution to this vital dialogue.'
- Alistair Ross, Psychodynamic Counsellor and Supervisor; Head of Counselling Training, University of Birmingham

'One of the weaknesses of psychoanalytic theory is that it does at times seek to "explain" - fine, of course, if explanation is a suggestion as to what a particular psychological phenomenon may mean, but disastrous when it is taken as "gospel". One of the weaknesses of much religious thinking is equally the attempt to explain, using a different discourse, but sometimes setting down what for believers can become tablets of stone.

'In this book the reader will find something totally different. As the author writes: "The emphasis in this book is . to point to the complementarity between certain understandingsof faith and a psychodynamic understanding of human nature, so that one may shed light on the other".

'This objective is well met, firstly by setting out some theological premises which enhance interpretation rather than dictate it; secondly by describing key psychoanalytic ideas (each section setting the scene for the reader not versed in either theological or psychoanalytic concepts) - then proceeding to examine some of the major existential themes in the light of both models: responses to the concept of evil, salvation, the inner spirit, presence and aloneness. An intriguing, personal reflection.'
- Michael Jacobs, author of Illusion: A Psycho-dynamic Interpretation of Thinking and Belief

About the Author(s)

David Buckley is a retired Methodist Minister and a psychodynamic counsellor and supervisor. He was born in Sheffield in 1943 and trained for ordained ministry in Birmingham, at Handsworth College and Queen's Ecumenical College. In his work as a minister he has served in both rural and urban appointments throughout the UK. He has worked as a prison chaplain and for the last five years of his active ministry as the ecumenical chaplain to Kingston University, London. Throughout his ministry, he has maintained a keen interest in and commitment to ecumenism. After gaining degrees in theology and biblical studies from London and Hull Universities, he developed a long-standing interest in psychology and counselling. During the 1990's he trained with the Westminster Pastoral Foundation, gaining several diplomas in psychodynamic counselling. He now lives in Chipping Norton, where he has a private practice as a counsellor and supervisor. For the past four years he has worked as a counsellor for a large GP surgery.

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