Welcome, Grace & Peace...

Welcome to my blog, a transdisciplinary place of reflection on creativity, pastoral theology, and psychotherapy. Posts are few, so check back periodically to see what's new. Enjoy!

The Rev. Martha S. Jacobi., PhD, LCSW


EMDR Solutions II & Marginality

Robin, the editor, says the book is on its way to final editing and should be available early in 2009. It will be a tome. My chapter is last, chapter 26: Using EMDR with religious and spiritually attuned clients. It is my initial written effort to help secular therapists find their way in working with such clients, presented from the dual perspective of being both a clergyperson and a clinician. I say "dual perspective" but marginal is probably the better description.

The ELCA doesn't quite know what to do with the handful of pastors like me, whose ministries are by nature integrative and incarnational, and may or may not take place in a congregational setting. Nor do many secular psychotherapy colleagues. ("You're a what?") Are we "neither fish nor fowl"? Or both "fish" and "fowl" (hopefully not foul). However defined, we live and work in the intersection of two professions. We live and work, sometimes, on a single point of intersection; other times, in a nearly global sphere thereof. We work with those who share our faith and those who don't, and those who claim no faith life at all. And we work with those whose faith has been wounded by both religion and the living of life.

Yet when all is said and done, when churchly institutions and state departments of the professions have each made their case, for me, it is Christ who grounds and models this lifework (vocation) and ministry. Christ--fully God and fully human--engaged in salvific healing for all. ("Salvation" and "Healing" having the same Greek root.) Christ--who comes to live within my very human life, not some ethereal "spook" but in my very flesh and blood, my human-beingness. Christ--whose ministry with the poor and outcast placed him in the dual perspective of voluntary marginality out of which grace flowed.

Likewise, in the dual perspective and voluntary marginality of pastoral psychotherapy, grace-moments "happen" when a particular type of listening hears clients' religio-spiritual joys, sorrows, and themes in the cares and concerns of their lives. It is a listening-into-grace that becomes healing movement in a sacred space.