An Introduction to the Process Understanding of Science, Society and the Self by Leslie A. Muray
Leslie A. Muray, Ph.D., teachest philosophy and ethics at Curry College in Massachusetts. He studied Process Theology under Dr. John Cobb at Claremont School of Theology. Published by The Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston/Queenston, 1988. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.
Chapter 4: Process Thought and Psychology
The language of psychology has become a communicative tool in the United States. Whether we read an advice column in the newspaper or watch a soap opera, crime drama, even a televangelist attacking the evil effects of psychology, we hear the language of pop psychology. Words and phrases like "acceptance," "self-esteem," "self-actualization," "inferiority complex," "superiority complex," "appropriate" and "inappropriate behavior" have become a part of common, everyday language.
I remember an incident, funny, sad, and tragic at the prison in Arizona where I was serving as a chaplain. I was sitting in on an initial classification in the maximum security section. When an inmate was incarcerated, she went to the maximum security section, part of which was also used as an intake unit, where she underwent a battery of tests and was observed intensely for thirty days. After a maximum period of thirty days, she appeared before the Classification Committee for initial classification to maximum, medium, or minimum security, depending on "time and crime," psychological profile, notoriety, adjustment and recidivism. During the process of initial classification, the Program Supervisor, who chaired the committee, would question the inmate closely about the circumstances leading up to and the commission of the crime itself. The pre-sentence report, written by a probation officer for the benefit of the sentencing judge and a social history of the inmate as well as the details of the crime, at times vivid and gruesome, was available to the members of the committee.
During the particular incident I am recounting, the Program Supervisor, fascinated, was questioning an inmate about the circumstances leading up to the commission of her crime. Increasingly intrigued, he kept asking her, "Then what happened?" Finally, as all of us present listened in wonder, she calmly concluded, "I shot the s.o.b." Losing all semblance of professionalism, the Program Supervisor angrily retorted, "I would say that was most inappropriate behavior."
The process-relational vision has much in common with the language, concepts, and theories of modern psychology. For example, I used the psychological term "internalize" in attempting to explain the words "to prehend," with its technical meaning, in process thought. Also, there is an affinity between the process view of the drive of a momentary experience to realize itself and the psychological concept of self-actualization, particularly prevalent in the writings of psychologists belonging to the "the Third Force," such as Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Fritz Perls, Victor Frankl, Erich Fromm, and Rollo May.
The discovery of the subconscious is probably modern psychology’s greatest contribution to our world. Process-relational thought is in fundamental agreement with modern psychology’s estimate of the singular power of the unconscious. However, it is in respect to the role of the unconscious in human development and its connection to temporal passage, the relation of past, present, and future, that some of the key differences between process thought and much of contemporary psychology emerge.
Sigmund Freud, for example, stressed the way a person’s development is hindered or arrested by a fixation in one of the infantile stages of development, usually the Oedipal phase. Or, being a smoker, a notion that hits close to home with me is that people who habitually stick things in their mouths (smokers, alcoholics, overeaters) are fixated in the even earlier infantile oral phase. The habit and urge of constantly having something in the mouth is symptomatic of a whole lifestyle reenacting the infant’s sucking the mother’s breast (I cannot resist mentioning that Freud was a cigar smoker himself).
In the thought of Carl Jung, the self, which is more than the ego, emerges in the process of individuation, the integration of the unconscious and conscious elements of the psyche into a unified whole. Part of the unconscious that has a profound impact on the development of the human personality are the "archetypes" of the "collective unconscious," primordial, formative images of the human family from its beginning replicated in each individual. While for Jung there is nothing fixed, eternal, in the process of individuation, nevertheless he also claims that there is from the very beginning a dormant ground plan in each person that makes human behavior quite predictable. The role of the therapist is to unleash the creative energy and potentiality latent in this ground plan.
The highly influential work of Abraham Maslow highlights his theory of self-actualization. He divides human needs into a pyramidical hierarchy. At the bottom are the basic safety needs, food, shelter, etc.; higher up on the scale is the need to be loved; and, finally, at the top, are the self-actualization needs. In Maslow’s view, the basic or what he calls deficiency needs have to be met before one can become a self-actualizing person. All needs, including those of self-actualization, are biological and instinctual. In other words, self-actualization is the unfolding of latent potentialities inherent in the human organism. In a manner similar to Jungian theory, the role of the therapist is that of midwife to this birthing process.
Freud, Jung, and Maslow are highly influential representative thinkers in contemporary psychology. I have chosen their thought to highlight some of the basic differences between modern psychology and the process-relational vision.
If the individuation and self-actualization are unfolding of a person’s potentialities inherent to her/his "nature," if those potentialities are present from the very beginning and making human behavior very predictable, in spite of some ambiguity of language, these representative figures operate with a substantialist view of the self. The self is a centered self, an isolated substance whose essential nature does not change in spite of transcience and the passage of time. The potentialities of the human personality may be actualized and individuation achieved, but that does not change the core of one’s personhood.
The substantialist view of the self in these thinkers is also deterministic. In a manner analogous to the unfolding of history as a previously written scroll in our discussion of God’s omniscience in the Introduction, the actualization of potentialities latent in the human personality is like the printout of a computer, provided the right buttons are pushed. If potentialities are present from the beginning, if they are biological and instinctual in nature, inherent to the human organism, there is no room for genuine novelty.
Needless to say, as we have seen, process-relational thought rejects such substantialist and deterministic views of the self. Process thinkers have appropriated the insights of contemporary psychology, of thinkers such as Freud, Jung, and Maslow. However, they have and continue to do so, without violating the integrity of their vision, only by not accepting the prevalent substantialist and deterministic understanding of the self. In this regard, there is much contemporary psychology can learn from the process-relational vision.
Temporal passage, the relation of the past, present, and future, provides another illustration of the similarities and differences between contemporary psychology in all its diversity, and the process-relational vision. I have claimed above that psychology’s greatest contribution to our world has been the discovery of the subconscious, an assessment with which process thought agrees.
In traditional psychotherapy, the focus is on the past. For Freudians, for example, a person’s unconscious early childhood memories shape, in fact determine, one’s personality development. Life is a complex psychodrama reenacting these early memories. In the case of Jungians, the power of the unconscious, particularly the collective unconscious, with its archetypal images, is no less determinative. The full development of the human personality is individuation, the integration of the conscious and the unconscious, cultivating an openness to and allowing the unconscious to do its work.
Other contemporary therapeutic models provide a powerful critique of this emphasis on the past. in the manner of the self-fulfilling prophecy discussed in the last chapter, if you concentrate solely on a person’s past, she/he will be fixated on that past, blocked from moving beyond it. In my professional career, I have dealt with numerous people who have undergone the traditional kinds of therapy. Without exceptions, conversations would dwell on the past, displaying an almost total inability to deal with the present and face the future, and a constant justification and search for the reasons explaining one’s feelings, thoughts and behavior.
The prototypical example of this kind of critique of the traditional psychotherapeutic model is Gestalt therapy. The most popular representative of this school is Fritz Perls. Instead of focusing on the past, Perls and other Gestaltists emphasize living in the present, on the "here and now." As far as they are concerned, dwelling on the past is an avoidance of the "here and now," all too often an all too convenient way of escaping dealing with one’s feelings through rational explanation and the use of abstraction. Even though the past is the "background" for one’s development, that is precisely where it needs to stay if one is to live in the all important present.
The process-relational vision is different from the traditional therapeutic model and Gestalt therapy yet able to do justice to their quite different concerns. Process thought is indebted to the insight that at least 90% of the psychic life is unconscious. But the unconscious does not totally determine our development.
As we have seen, mentality and freedom are not synonymous with consciousness as far as process thinkers are concerned. If at least 90% of the psychic life of humans is unconscious and there is some degree of mentality and freedom in anything actual at all, on no matter how rudimentary, even negligible a level, then most expressions of mentality and freedom occur at the level of the unconscious. Even unconsciously or subconsciously, a momentary experiencing subject creates itself as it prehends the past of the possibilities of the future.
In one very important sense, process thought agrees with Gestalt therapy on the importance of the present; the present moment, in its immediacy and intensity, is all we have. However, the relational vision is not of one mind with Gestalt therapy’s disparagement of the past.
As important as feeling the immediacy of the present is in a vision that highlights the momentariness of the self, the constitutive role of the past cannot be neglected. The past, not only my own but that of the entire universe, enters into and is formative of my present moment of experience, even as I also display care about the immediate and long range future.
Fritz Perls and other advocates of Gestalt therapy as well as other notable thinkers in the field of psychology such as Abraham Maslow, Erich Fromm, Rollo May, Ludwig Binswager, Carl Rogers, and Victor Frankl have been profoundly influenced by existentialist philosophy. If I may oversimplify, much of existentialism has depicted human life as a train ride toward death. Human beings, the only creatures as far as we know conscious of the fact that they are going to die, have a great deal of difficulty handling the awareness of their mortality; it produces anxiety. Humans do all sorts of things to escape having to deal with their own death; they fall prey to the vast pressures toward conformism, putting their antennae out to see what is expected of them, "to keep up with the Joneses," or participate in totalitarian movements and support totalitarian regimes. This is what existentialists describe as the fall into inauthentic existence.
For existentialists, every moment is totally novel, discrete, isolated, disconnected from every other moment. Every moment is a moment of decision in which a human being creates himself/herself. And in every moment, human beings are confronted with the choice of living authentically or inauthentically.
Existentialism can be and has been religious or atheistic. In Christian versions of existentialism, the decision to live authentically that we face in every moment is a decision for or against the grace, the unbounded, unconditional love of God in Jesus Christ. In other forms of religious existentialism, every moment is a moment of decision to live authentically or inauthentically; authentic existence is being in touch with the Transcendence that is fundamental to the character of reality. In the thought of the Jewish Martin Buber, the equivalent of authentic existence is the cultivation "I-Thou’ relationships, treating others including non-humans as subjects instead of getting caught up in the endless web of inauthentic "I-It relations, which though necessary for emotional survival, treats others as objects. Atheistic existentialists maintain that authentic existence is choosing to live as oneself, with integrity, in every moment.
With a pervasive sense of depersonalization in many segments of Western societies, existentialism has struck a responsive chord. There is much in existentialism with which process thought can agree: the importance of the present moment, in all its subjective immediacy, as the moment of decision through which the momentary self creates itself. In process theology, the present is the moment to decide for or against (or fall somewhere in between) the lure, the ideal possibility God beckons us to realize in every moment.
However, there are two points in existentialism with which the process-relational vision takes issue. One concerns the notion of authentic existence. As attractive as this idea may be, as much as we may resonate to it, the typical uses of the words authentic existence have a culturally relative slant. The concept has a Western ring to it, and even though culturally limited, is made normative for all humans by existentialist philosophers. This certainly goes against the grain of the process-relational vision.
A second issue is much more problematic. If each moment is totally novel, discrete, disconnected from every other moment, existentialism is unable to account for any connection and relation between past, present, and future. A theme I have emphasized throughout this book, fundamental to the process-relational vision, is the basic interconnectedness of the past, present, and future, and of all things.
Some Gestalt therapists have argued against my interpretation of their understanding of the relationship between past and present. I am sure what I have written here will be subject to debate. Nevertheless, I still maintain that Gestalt therapy denigrates the past, and that existential psychologies and psychotherapies, profoundly influenced by the existentialist philosophy, are unable to account adequately for the relation between past, present, and future.
Much of traditional psychotherapy has been highly individualistic. Most therapy is conducted on a one-on-one basis between therapist and patient. To be sure, the one-on-one kind of counseling can be highly effective. This type of therapy, also utilized by Gestalt therapy and other forms of existentialist psychiatry, deals with "problems" in strictly personal terms. There is much to said for the enhancement of a sense of personal responsibility and of coping skills to deal with life’s problems. However, such therapy excludes the broader questions and problems of the impact of relations and environment, except to the extent of how can a person deal with them, what she/he can do about them. Such individualism should not be surprising from a therapeutic practice so deeply rooted in a substantialist view of the self.
The last quarter of a century has seen the proliferation of a wide variety of group therapies. Some are for specific groups, youth, the bereaved, couples, etc., providing people with a sense that they are not alone with their own peculiar set of problems. Others, such as conjoint and family therapies, are based on organismic and systemic approaches. They maintain that families, as we saw in Chapter II, are systems or organisms, wholes made up of interdependent and interrelated parts; instead of trying to "cure" the "identified patient," a skilled therapist will work on the relationships; change the relationships and the individuals will change as well.
Other forms of group therapy have taken an approach that deals simultaneously with people’s personal problems as well as taking responsible action in being change agents within the larger environments of which they are parts. This kind of therapy resembles the psychoanalytic theories of Alfred Adler, who, like Jung, was a disciple of Freud who broke away from the master. Adlerian psychotherapy, like most traditional therapies, is insight oriented. That is to say, as persons gain insights into their feelings, thoughts, and the reasons for their actions, they are enabled to deal more constructively with their problems and change patterns of behavior destructive to themselves and others. However, along with existentialist and "growth" therapies, exposing the reasons, the whys of one’s behavior does not guarantee automatic change and can lead to excessive self-preoccupation; part of the therapeutic process is release from such excessive self-preoccupation through engagement in projects that are beneficial to others as well as oneself. The kind of therapy that has taken the dual approach of dealing with one’s personal problems and cultivating one’s skills as a change agent, through such activities as community organizing, has been tried successfully among segments of our population who experience a pervasive sense of powerlessness and fatedness, blacks in inner city ghettos, Hispanics in the barrios, the elderly in cities, in suburbs.
With these recent developments process thought can only heartily concur. As we have seen, in the process-relational vision, reality is both social and individual; human beings are both social-relational selves and precious individual, unique persons. While humans transcend their environments and are radically responsible for their self-creation in every moment, the momentary selves that they are are profoundly shaped and constituted by the totality of their environments. Thus, healing cannot be restricted to individuals but needs to be extended to the environments that make us who we are.
I can remember at the prison where I worked how we would attempt to provide the opportunity for inmates to participate in professional counseling. Virtually all of us realized the futility of this unless members of the inmate’s family, a human environment that all too often contributed to the circumstances leading up to incarceration, were also involved in this counseling. Most of us were also keenly aware of the impact of larger environmental conditions, violent neighborhoods with few or no opportunities for employment, which were to a large extent seen as outside the purview or influence of the staff.
A development related to the growth of therapies that deal with personal problems, in part by trying to provide the opportunity to resolve them by responsible engagement in social change, in transforming one’s environment, is the increased questioning of the use of psychology to help people adapt and adjust to the world in which they live. To be sure, there is much in life, much in our environment, to which we can only adapt. For example, the psychological dynamic of many inmates upon the initial occasion of incarceration, particularly among first time offenders, was similar to the process of grief and bereavement. Indeed, for many of them it was very much a time of grief, dealing with loss of freedom, family, friends, familiar surroundings. Of course, repeat offenders were so institutionalized that, once released, they would shortly thereafter, often unconsciously, commit a crime just to be incarcerated again. The initial thirty day intake period was a period of adjustment during which inmates were not only tested and observed, but, hopefully, let go of their denials of the commission of their crimes, of their incarceration, and accepted what they could not change. As indispensable as this process was to an inmate’s psychological survival, an uncritical and fatalistic acquiescence to the inmates’ and the institutions’ way of doing things and values was immeasurably destructive of the psyche and of the integrity of the personality.
Contemporary psychology, with few exceptions, such as to some degree the thought of Carl Jung, has also been profoundly misogynist, and recently women, as well as men, have sought to rid the field of its sexism. Also, much of therapeutic practice has had a white middle class bias. For example, the methods and techniques of pastoral counseling learned in seminary, while certainly helpful, are geared to relatively well-educated white middle class people; the people I have dealt with in much of my career have been in large measure the marginalized of our society, and I found many of the skills I had acquired of limited use, having to acquire new ones on my own.
Although there are many circumstances in life that we can only accept and to which we can only adjust, there are many others to which we simply should not acquiesce: the violence and arbitrariness of our prison system, both on the part of inmates and staff; death squads in Central America; violations of human rights, torture, murder all over the world; apartheid in South Africa; hunger; sexism; racism; working for companies unscrupulous in their dumping of waste, etc. Process thinkers are critical of the abuse of contemporary psychology in attempting to adapt people, to help them become uncritical and unquestioning, to unacceptable circumstances; they see such misuses as contrary to and distorting of the fundamental relational and creative character of reality.
Since so much of process thought has been theological in nature, it should come as no surprise that most of the work exploring the relationship between the process-relational vision and psychology has been in the field of pastoral care and counseling. Taking into account my critical comments throughout this chapter, I need to say that process thinkers have been quite eclectic in their use of the various schools of contemporary psychology; there is no process-psychology "party line."
Process theologians concerned with the field of pastoral care and counseling have focused particularly on the singular significance of unconditional acceptance in the therapeutic process, and the ontological dimension of acceptance. That is to say, acceptance is grounded in the very structure of reality. Most psychotherapeutic schools do emphasize the unique importance in the therapist’s conveying unconditional empathetic acceptance to the client, which is not the same as approving of all one’s actions, thoughts and feelings, if there is to be any movement beyond the repetition of the past that impedes a positive response to the novel possibilities of the future. An exceedingly important part of this dimension of the therapeutic process is treating the client as an experiencing subject rather than an object or a case to be studied or manipulated; in therapy, the client is not told what to do and how to live but enabled to draw on her/his own resources to resolve problems and actualize his/her potential. In the context of this discussion, the unique contribution of the process-relational conceptuality is its exploration of the grounding of acceptance in the structure of reality itself.
In the discussion of a process interpretation of character and virtue, we saw the importance of responding to and accepting the sensitivity, receptivity, responsiveness, empathy, unconditional love and acceptance we receive from others; our response cultivates and nurtures these virtues in ourselves, enables us to become larger selves, and respond to the novel possibilities we are offered in each moment. We have also seen that God is the supreme instance of sensitivity, receptivity, responsiveness, relatedness, and creativity; the very nature of the divine is unconditional love and acceptance as God takes all experience into the divine experience, preserves it everlastingly with no loss of immediacy, and offers new possibilities to be actualized based on the divine experience of creaturely experience. Our fundamental intuition and response to God’s acceptance of our lives into her/his life provides a powerful sense of the meaning of life and bestows a profound sense of dignity.
At this point, it might be helpful to refer to the notion of a "proposition" in Whitehead’s philosophy. A proposition is a lure, provided by God, that combines something actual with a possibility, since that is how possibilities become relevant for actualization. What is actual includes stories, gestures, actions, colors, people. Thus, the person, gestures, words, facial expressions of the therapist all serve as propositions that provide the reassurance, and they convey acceptance that empowers the client’s response to novel possibilities.
If to be religious is to imitate the divine, and if a pastoral "carer" represents the divine, that imitation and representation needs to reflect the divine sensitivity, receptivity, responsiveness, unconditional love and acceptance that empowers us to see the destructiveness of the past as meaningful and leads us to a newness of life, the very pattern of grace. This movement of grace, reflected in the therapeutic relationship and the healing process, is mutually transformative of both the client and the carer. Moreover, God is supremely involved, as she/he is in all experience, in the therapeutic process.
A criticism sometimes made of the process God, in a play on Aristotle’s words describing God as the "unmoved mover" that process thinkers are fond of attacking, is that he/she is the "moved unmover." In a similar fashion, if pastoral carers re-present the "moved unmover," they themselves can function only as "passive-aggressives" in the therapeutic process.
Needless to say, in my mind, this criticism is unwarranted. God is not only "moved," the supreme instance of receptivity, but also quite a "mover," the supreme instance of creativity who envisages all possibilities, orders them in graded relevance to the needs of the creatures, and lures, prods, beckons all actualities to their fulfillment in interdependence with all others.
The concern of pastoral carers critical of the process conceptuality is its perceived inability to deal with confrontation in pastoral care. This certainly does not necessarily follow; process thinkers acknowledge that novel possibilities often confront where we are and where we have been. All pastoral carers influenced by process thought are saying is that for confrontation to be effective in the therapeutic process there needs to be a relationship of trust and acceptance.
I also need to refer to a number of other points in this discussion of pastoral care. In adapting the methods and models of psychotherapy, the distinctively religious dimension of pastoral care was obscured. Since the early and mid 1970’s, many in the field of pastoral care have moved to recover their distinctively religious roots while affirming the very positive gains made by their appropriation of psychotherapy.
Process theologians have been quite involved in this development. Don S. Browning, who earlier in his career made significant contributions to the discussion about the ontological dimensions of acceptance, has had a vital role in the movement to recover the roots and identity of pastoral care and all ministry in an ongoing, dynamic religious tradition. Still very much influenced by the process-relational vision yet following an independent direction, he has been instrumental in recent attempts to reclaim the connection between ethics and pastoral care.
Intriguingly, the contemporary conversation about the relationship between ethics and pastoral care is the counterpart in that field of the recovery of the tradition of the ethics of character and virtue. In its own way, contemporary psychology has had its own implicit version of the ethics of character and virtue, its own vision of the "good" person: an integrated, self-actualizing human being. Much of contemporary pastoral care has appropriated this vision, and while affirming this, has recently sought its distinctively religious basis.
Browning compares the ethics of character and virtue, which he also calls the ethics of disposition, with his predilection for an ethics of principle. He correlates the insights of an ongoing, creative religious tradition, psychological needs, and ethical reflection in an endeavor to do a "public" "practical" theology open to the tests of common human experience and rational inquiry for its truth claims.
My own preference and that of other process thinkers is for an ethics of character and virtue. However, such ethics need not be separated from an ethics of principle. Although the predominant focus of Brownings’s work is on the ethics of principle, he correctly points out that an ethics of character and virtue is contingent on an ethics of principle. Traditionally that has indeed been its use, a vital ingredient for the formation of character and the concomitant cultivation of virtues. This remains an issue open for further discussion and exploration.
Finally, the recent discussion of the different stages of the life cycle has been a significant development in contemporary psychology. The resolution of the "issues" in each stage of the life cycle affecting all ensuing stages yet open for further completion parallels the ideas of perpetual perishing, the flow of the past into the self-constitution of the present, and the genuine novelty of the present and the future. Penelope Washbourn, basing her work on women’s experience as well as the process-relational vision, renders a particularly articulate account of women’s lives as cycles of numerous deaths and resurrections, with genuine transformations and novelty. Process theologians have also been sensitive to the importance of symbols and rituals in the resolution of the psychological issues involved in each stage of the life cycle.
Two other points of importance need to be mentioned. Process thought is highly critical of reductionism, the attempt to reduce existence to one of its dimensions, such as biological drives or instincts, in contemporary psychology, in the natural sciences, as we shall see in the next chapter, and in all academic disciplines. In the process-relational vision, all events are complex and multi-causal.
One school of contemporary psychology with which process thought has little in common is behaviorism. To be sure, process thinkers acknowledge how profoundly we are shaped by our environments and how much we can be conditioned. Some pastoral carers influenced by the process conceptuality use some of its techniques effectively without violating the dignity of their clients. Nevertheless, the crucial point for the process-relational vision is that no matter how much we are shaped by our environments, no matter how much we are conditioned, no matter how much we have to endure, the spontaneity, the capacity for novelty and creative freedom that makes us who we are, can never be totally eradicated. The relationality that shapes us so profoundly is the very matrix of novelty and creativity, their further emergence and cultivation.
For Further Reading
For a sample of the literature in psychology discussed in this chapter, see the following: Erikson, Erik H. Childhood and Society (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1950), especially for a delineation of the stages of the life cycle: Frankl, Victor E., The Doctor and the Soul (New York: Knopf, 1968), and by the same author, Man’s Search for Meaning (New York: Washington Square, 1963); Freud, Sigmund Beyond the Pleasure Principle, tr. by James Strachey (New York: Bantam, 1959), and by the same author, Civilization and its Discontents, tr. by James Strachey (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1961); New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis tr. by James Strachey (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1965); An Outline of Psychoanalysis, tr. by James Strachey (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1949), Fromm, Erich, The Art of Loving (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1956); Jung, Carl G. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious in Collected Works (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1959), Vol. IX, and by the same author, Modern Man in Search of a Soul (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1933), and The Undiscovered Self (Boston: Little and Brown, 1957); Maslow, Abraham H., The Farther Reaches of Human Nature (New York: The Viking Press, 1972), also by the same author, Motivation and Personality (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1954); Religion, Values, and Peak Experiences (New York: The Viking Press, 1964); Toward a Psychology of Being, second edition (Princeton, New Jersey: Van Nostrand, 1968); May, Rollo, Love and Will (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1969), also by the same author, Power and Innocence: A Search for the Sources of Violence (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1972); Man’s Search for Himself (New York: The American Library, 1967); Perls, Fritz, Ego. Hunger, and Aggression (New York: Vintage, 1969); Rogers, Carl R., Client-Centered Therapy (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1951), and On Becoming a Person (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1961); one of the classics of behaviorism is Skinner, B.F., Beyond Freedom and Dignity (New York: A Bantam/Vintage Book, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1972).
An excellent example of a systems approach in family therapy is Satir, Virginia, Conjoint Family Therapy (Palo Alto, CA.: Science and Behavior, 1964). For a prolific author whose recent writings show an increased sensitivity to the healing of the human and non-human environments in which we live as part of the therapeutic process, see Clinebell, Howard, Basic Types of Pastoral Care and Counseling: Resources for the Ministry of Healing and Growth, Completely Revised and Enlarged (Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1984); also by the same author, Contemporary Growth Therapies (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1981), and Growth Counseling (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1979).
For the literature in process theology and pastoral care, see Cobb, John B., Jr., Theology and Pastoral Care (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977); for the finest and most creative work in this area, see Jackson, Gordon E., Pastoral Care and Process Theology (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1981); other works relating process theology and pastoral care include Lapsley, James N., Salvation and Health: The Interlocking Processes of Life (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1972); Williams, Daniel Day, The Minister and the Care of Souls, Harper’s Ministers Paperback Library (New York: Harper and How, Publishers, 1977); The Spirit and the Forms of Love (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1968); also by the same author, ‘Suffering and Being in Empirical Theology," in Meland, Bernard E., ed. The Future of Empirical Theology (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969), and "Theological Reflections on the New Modes of Pastoral Care," in Lewis, Douglas, ed., Explorations in Ministry, I Doc, 1971, pp. 240-256.
The early works of Don S. Browning have a focus similar to the works mentioned above. See for example Browning, Don S. Atonement and Psychotherapy (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1966); and "Psychological and Ontological Perspectives on Faith and Reason," in Brown, Delwin, James, Ralph E., Jr., and Reeves, Gene, eds. Process Philosophy and Christian Thought (New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc.) pp. 128-142). One of his early attempts at the recovery of the religious roots of pastoral care and the connection of that field to ethics is his The Moral Context of Pastoral Care (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1976). For later works that pursue the same theme and also develop an ethics of principle, see his Religious Ethics and Pastoral Care (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983), and Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies: A Critical Conversation in the Theology of Culture (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987). See also his Introduction and "Pastoral Theology in a Pluralistic Age," in Browning, Don S., ed., Practical Theology: The Emerging Field in Theology. Church. and World (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983), pp. 1-18, and pp. 187-202 respectively, especially for a fruitful discussion of the ethics of disposition and the ethics principle. For a view different from Browning’s, exemplifying an ethics of character and virtue, see Lapsley, James N., "Practical Theology and Pastoral Care: An Essay in Pastoral Theology," in the same volume, pp. 167-186.
For the most extensive treatment of the relationship between the process thought and contemporary psychology, see the papers available through the Process Psychotherapy Institute.
For an incisive treatment of women’s experience from a feminist perspective at variance with much of traditional psychotherapy, see Gilligan, Carol, In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development (Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 1982). For an extremely creative encounter between feminist thought, the process-relational vision, and depth psychology, see Keller, Catherine, From a Broken Web: Separation, Sexism, and Self (Boston: The Beacon Press, 1986)