The greatest asset which people in pastoral care offer in a caring relationship is themselves, or to be more precise, the aspects of self which they have reflected upon. Offering oneself to other people in order to provide companionship along the road of life, especially when the particular stage on the journey is one of anticipated or actual loss, is an act which is both challenging and yet potentially life enhancing for a carer.
The purpose of this book is to offer an aid to those who seek to understand themselves better with a view to enhancing the quality of spiritual and pastoral care they offer. Here the reference point for reflexivity is the caring relationship. Yet as we are fundamentally the same beings in personal and professional relationships, readers may also find stimulus to reflect on what they bring to a variety of relationships including that with the Sacred and, indeed, themselves.