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Title: Presence and shame in pastoral care and counselling
Author: Pembroke, N. F.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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There are two key terms in this thesis, namely presence and shame. "Presence" is used broadly to refer to all forms of authentic "being-with". That is, it describes genuine relationality, real meeting. Shame indicates that the self is evaluating itself as defective, flawed, inferior in some way (e.g. morally, intellectually, or physically). The aims are threefold. There is an intention, first, to develop an understanding of how genuine presence functions within pastoral care and counselling. The second aim is to develop an understanding of how distorted forms of presence operate in pastoral care and counselling, with a specific reference to their shame-inducing potential. In this way, attitudes and behaviours (often subtle) which mitigate against effective care (especially through lowering self-esteem in the recipient of care) are identified in order that they may be guarded against. The third aim is to show that shame has an important role to play in the process through which a pastor or counsellor moves from distorted to genuine presence. In order to interpret presence, use is made of two notions developed by the so-called "dialogical philosophers", Gabriel Marcel and Martin Buber: availability and confirmation, respectively. Availability is essentially the giving of self for the sake of the other. One disposes of oneself in the service of another. Confirmation is a process in which one challenges the other to reach for his God-endowed potential. While pastoral presence is often construed in terms of empathy and acceptance (Carl Rogers), it is contended that Marcel and Buber offer us rich conceptualisations which, while being closely related to Rogers' relational keys, also take us beyond them. The primary thesis that will be argued is that in pastoral relationships availability is before skills and techniques and confirmation is beyond acceptance and empathy. That is, it is contended, first, that availability is fundamental in pastoral care and counselling. Without it, the use of counselling techniques will be only minimally effective. It is also argued that while one must ground care in acceptance of the other, it is necessary to go beyond this to sensitively challenge her to grow into her God-given spiritual, moral and psychological potentialities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available