“I am a person with bipolar disorder. It has been with me since my teen years, although it was not diagnosed until I was in my forties. I have tried numerous variations of psychotherapy and medications. One therapist, a Quaker pastoral counselor, has made a difference in my recovery from this illness. I met him when I served in the parish in Florida. I had been having panic attacks, severe mental chaos, and periods of depression. I had developed a phobia about closeness with other people. I was getting very little sleep and not carrying out my duties at church adequately. I asked for a referral and was given Michael’s name, and we began therapy on a January day. … Each morning I would spend twenty minutes in silence before going to work, a practice I continue to this day. In that silence, using the rubric of the Ignatian exercises, I would calm the chaos in my mind and allow God’s peace into it.”
My Pastor as Person professor answered a prayer. He provided a book on a Quaker spirituality approach to pastoral counseling applied to the treatment of bipolar disorder symptoms. I think the author may also have to deal with the condition. I feel blessed to be at seminary around such spiritual knowledge. Interestingly enough, the author utilizes the Ignatian spiritual exercises as a prayer structure. I was just reading about this method today. I found the books in the library and a commentary by Karl Rahner. Coincidence or providence? A friend provided a modern interpretation of the Ignatian exercises in this book.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.