Inviting Soheil: Narrative and Embrace in Christian Caregiving

Kevin Reimer and Al Dueck


Kevin Reimer and Al Dueck argue that Christians in helping professions are morally obligated to critique their own psychology in light of “thick” theological narrative. Through a case study the authors consider the possibility that Western psychotherapy can perpetuate violence when exported to other nations and peoples. In response they outline a general therapeutic posture modeled after Miroslav Volf’s (1996) redemptive concept of embrace, including four movements of opening, waiting, closing, and opening again. It is in the metaphorical embrace of the client that the caregiver appropriates conceptions of mental health in other cultures while upholding the redemptive impact of Christ’s gospel. Mr. Reimer is Associate Professor of Graduate Psychology, Azusa Pacific University, Research Professor of Psychology, Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Templeton/ CCCU fellow in science and religion at the University of Oxford. Mr. Dueck is the Frank and Evelyn Freed Chair of Integration and Professor of Psychology, Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary.


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Last Updated: January 1, 2006
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