We maintain eye contact. We listen well. We lean forward. We repeat back what we are hearing. We say “sounds like” as often as we can. We listen with empathy and without judgment.
We immerse ourselves in the stories we are hearing and rarely, if ever, offer directed advice. Any seminary-trained, CPE-drenched pastor knows exactly what I’m talking about and has done this kind of ministry hundreds of times. And in most cases, particularly as we help people navigate family dysfunction and personal trauma, that posture of reflective listening is perfectly appropriate.
However, when therapy turns into theology, something else entirely happens: our experience and our empathy determine our doctrine.
when therapy turns into theology,
something else entirely happens: