What does it mean in a pastoral relationship when a careseeker evokes specific images of God or begins to speak of angels, demons, or near-death experiences? How is a caregiver to understand the faith of one who seeks help? How and to what degree is a caregiver to empathize with and interpret the careseeker’s religious language?
M. Kathryn Armistead offers practical psychological and theological guidance for counselors on these questions. She refers to the counseling situation as one that involves “standing on holy ground.” Using case studies, she shows how to discover and discern the unconscious weavings of images, feelings, and ideation that combine to produce God-language and images of God, that is, “what is most holy to the self.”