Grace for the Injured Self
Even under the best circumstances in life, we all suffer psychological injuries to our self. These injuries from others can range from passive hurtful comments to intentional abusive assaults. The end result is that our sense of being a cohesive and secure self is threatened. We may begin to experience degrees of vulnerability and self-doubts, or of rage and desire for revenge. We may even feel as if we were --falling apart.-- In all cases these self-injuries chip away at our self-cohesion and self-esteem. Grace for the Injured Self helps us to better understand the significance of these injuries to our self, as well as how these injuries can be healed through the self psychology approach of Heinz Kohut. Throughout its pages, this book emphasizes the empathic presence of another as a source of grace. Empathy is the most powerful means by which the self is reassured, strengthened, and ultimately restored. It is this empathic responsiveness of others that holds our self together and helps us daily maintain our self-cohesion and self-esteem. The self psychology perspective of Heinz Kohut, who many consider the most significant psychoanalyst since Sigmund Freud, is made available here as a primary means by which clergy and other helping professionals can provide a healing context for the restoration of injured selves. --This fine book elucidates a vital area of the thought of Heinz Kohut that has been undervalued: his contribution to pastoral counseling. Kohut himself was always interested in theology and was himself a deeply spiritual man. His psychology of empathy should claim the attention of all those interested in healing within the context of religion. This book should be read by all professionals in the field.-- --Charles B. Strozier author of Heinz Kohut: The Making of a Psychoanalyst --Grace for the Injured Self is a clear, readable, and down-to-earth introduction to the self psychology of Heinz Kohut. It demonstrates the practical relevance of Kohut's central ideas for understanding ourselves and our relations with others. It explains how mutual expressions and acts of empathy enable our lives to reflect more fully the essence of the human spirit. It also shows how attention to the conflicting self-issues of the pastor and congregation may produce fundamentally positive changes in their life together. Personal interviews with Heinz Kohut on religion and the courageous life are an added bonus. A gracefully written book by two thoughtful and perceptive self psychologists.-- --Donald Capps Professor of Pastoral Psychology, Emeritus Princeton Theological Seminary --Atheists, agnostics, and true believers will all benefit from and enjoy this clearly written and cogent blending of psychoanalytic self psychology and religious thought. Faithful both to the ideas of Heinz Kohut and to the tenets of religious thinking, the authors achieve a rare integration of fields that need never stand in opposition.-- --Arnold Goldberg, MD Cynthia Oudejans Harris, MD Professor Rush University Terry D. Cooper, EdD, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at St. Louis Community College at Meramec, and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at Webster University. He has authored or coauthored eleven books. Robert L. Randall, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, now in private practice. He is the author of seven books and numerous articles.