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The Courage to Suffer


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About the Author

Daryl R. Van Tongeren, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Daryl is a social psychologist and has published over 150 scholarly articles and chapters on topics such as meaning in life, religion, virtues (including forgiveness and humility), relationships, and well-being. His research has been supported by numerous grants from the John Templeton Foundation to explore topics including meaning in life, religion and religious de-identification, and humility, and his research has won national and international awards. He received a 2016 Rising Star designation from the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and he was named a Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) and a Fellow of the Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA). Currently, he is an associate editor for The Journal of Positive Psychology, and a consulting editor for Psychology of Religion and Spirituality and The Journal of Social Psychology.

Sara A. Showalter Van Tongeren, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker in the states of Michigan and Virginia and is a graduate of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work in Richmond, Virginia. Sara has more than twelve years of clinical social work experience in settings such as private practice, foster care, inpatient hospitals and outpatient Courage medical clinics, interpartner violence shelters, and behavioral health. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Currently, she owns a private practice in Holland, Michigan, where she works with individuals, couples, families, and children to help them cultivate a sense of meaning and develop narratives of resilience following trauma and unexpected life events. Sara specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, existential psychotherapy, narrative therapy, brainspotting, and acceptance commitment therapy.


"Daryl and Sara skillfully weave together psychological theory, research findings, clinical wisdom, and their own personal story to create a powerful and insightful narrative that will be useful to therapists, researchers, and anyone who is suffering."--Crystal Park, PhD, professor of psychology, University of Connecticut

"A courageous, poignant, and helpful guide to living bravely through the downs and ups of suffering. Regardless of whether you are a professional counselor, you--and people you care about and seek to help--can benefit from this synthesis of personal life, existential thought, and positive psychology."--Everett L. Worthington, Jr., PhD, Commonwealth Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University and author of How Do I Forgive?

"If you are facing adversity, this is a must read book. Daryl and Sara offer a new framework for the important task of helping people flourish and find meaning amidst suffering by developing the courage to engage it."--Jamie Aten, PhD, Blanchard Chair of Humanitarian Disaster Leadership, Wheaton College, and author of A Walking Disaster: What Surviving Katrina and Cancer Taught Me about Faith and Resilience

"Guided by a helpful sunset-to-daylight metaphor and enriched by case examples, psychological research and theory, and specific clinical suggestions, this book is a must-have for anyone wanting to engage tough issues about suffering--whether inside or outside a therapy context."--Julie J. Exline, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University and co-editor of APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality

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