1st Edition

The Language of the Soul in Narrative Therapy Spirituality in Clinical Theory and Practice

By Laura Béres Copyright 2023
    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Language of the Soul in Narrative Therapy uniquely bridges the gap between narrative therapy and spirituality to describe how the theory and practice of narrative therapy may be expanded and enriched by incorporating the language of the soul.

    Divided into three parts, the book begins by contextualizing the approach of narrative therapy and spirituality. Chapters then debate the complexity of the ‘soul’ as a term drawing on the work of Christian mystics and philosophers, such as Teresa of Avila, Edith Stein, Merleau-Ponty, and Bakhtin, to show how their theoretical ideas can be incorporated in counseling practice and spiritual direction. The book concludes by discussing how the language of the soul can be integrated and applied in postmodern practice.

    With case examples from faith belief systems, such as Christianity, Buddhism, Paganism, Wicca, and Yazidism, throughout, this book is essential reading for therapists, clinical social workers, and counsellors in practice and graduate training, as well as spiritual directors and pastoral counselors interested in the ideas and practices of narrative therapy.


    Part I: The Context and Approach: Narrative Therapy and Spirituality

    1. The Self/Identity in Narrative Therapy

    Laura Béres

    2. Critical Reflection and Contemplative Practices for Narrative Therapy

    Laura Béres

    Part II: The Language of the Soul

    3. A Timeline for the Language of the Soul, from Plato to Current Day

    Laura Béres

    4. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle

    Laura Béres

    5. Edith Stein’s Conceptions of the Person

    Laura Béres

    6. The Embodied Soul: Considering Merleau-Ponty’s Contributions to the Language of the Soul

    Laura Béres

    Part III: Integrating the Language of the Soul into Postmodern Practice

    7. I, Myself, and Bakhtin: Spiritual Direction and the Self

    David Crawley

    8. Possibilities Offered: Weaving the Language of the Soul into Narrative Practices

    Laura Béres

    9. Concluding Reflections: A Dialogue on the Language of the Soul for Narrative Practices

    Laura Béres and David Crawley


    Laura Béres, MSW, MA, PhD, is an academic and clinical social worker, writing in the areas of narrative therapy, spirituality, and critical reflection on practice.

    "A must-read for clinicians seeking to engage spirituality with comfort and competence. Laura Béres makes a major contribution to the theory and practice of narrative therapy in this wise, clinically grounded, justice-oriented book. I can’t wait to teach it!"

    Duane Bidwell, PhD, Professor of Spiritual Care & Counseling, Claremont School of Theology, USA.

    "Laura Béres makes links between narrative therapy and monkish and Buddhist practices. She infuses these spiritual traditions with her own emphases and produces a rare thing – a fresh approach to spirituality. Since Freud, spirituality has been left out of therapy in the rush to have it recognized as a science. Laura Béres seeks to tackle these behemoths and what emerges is an exciting mix of spiritual practices and beliefs."

    John Winslade, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling, California State University, USA.

    "Addressing the lack of spirituality in narrative therapy, Laura Béres explores the wisdom of significant spiritual teachers which illustrates how mind or spirit, body and world are interconnected. Grounded in Laura Béres’s and David Crawley’s counselling experience, this will effectively resource practitioners to integrate the language of soul into narrative approaches."

    Fiona Gardner, PhD, Associate Professor, Social Work and Social Policy, La Trobe University, Australia.

    "Laura Béres’s historical and philosophical tour of the language of the soul, the embodied soul, and the world soul as it relates to narrative practice is like going on retreat with a trusted spiritual advisor. We move from ‘discombobulation’ to peace and comfort by including the soul in our therapeutic practices."

    Sally St. George, Professor, School of Social Work, University of Calgary, and Dan Wulff, Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work, University of Calgary.