23 April 2014

Book Review: Connecting

When I was having dinner with Dr Crabb at the School of Spiritual Direction a few weeks ago, I remember during our conversation that I wondered aloud whether I was going through some of the same professional transition that he went through many years before as a professional psychologist. It felt arrogant saying it, and in no way would I imply that I am similarly brilliant, but it seemed that many of his struggles of 20 years ago are things that I struggle with.  His book Connecting (1997) has strengthened that impression. In fact, on page 42, he wrote, "Was I afraid to just be with this man (a client), to take off the Dr Crabb white coat, to stop being an expert, and offer myself as a person?" This statement so closely mirrors what he told me--"I have no interest in knowing Dr Kanz, but I would really like to know Jason"--I wonder if he had this section in mind. 

Peppered throughout the book are references to the inadequacy of the professional model of helping for soul healing. Of course professionals can, and often do help, but what people often desire is connection, not professional therapy or legalistic moralism.  In this book, Crabb discusses what connection may look like in relationships with one another. 

True connection, what Curt Thompson calls the desire to "be known", is at the heart of healing and soul work. We are relational beings created by a relational God, but as a result of the fall, we struggle to relate well.  This book may provide some wisdom as to what it might look like to start down the path of connecting with one another.  Highly recommended.

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