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I select here a few books I have found insightful and useful for healing the different stages of spiritual growth. For some I have written short reviews to present the content and clarify their application.

Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You by James Friesen, James Wilder, and others.

This foundational book from Shepherd's House, CA, (available from presents a model for healing that has worked successfully with severely abused and SRA victims. It presents a "Life Model" based on joy ("someone is glad to be with me") and returning to joy, and different stages of maturing toward the goal of living and thriving from one's true heart (joy in God) as against coping with life out of fear. Restoration for severely abused people requires more than truth. It needs trustworthy relationships, spiritual bonding, to help one restore broken stages. Jim Wilder has opened a website ( that gives resources and some of his research on joy and brain development, his "neurotheology." His is a powerful approach for healing "initial faith" and later stages.

4 Internal Family Systems Therapy by Richard Schwartz.

Schwartz originally used structural family therapy till he found that some addicted people could improve relationships without freeing their addictions. Through client feed-back he came to realize that each person had internal parts (which he categorized as managers, exiles and fire-fighters) that also needed to relate authentically, and later he discovered an internal "self" (compassionate observer and guide, a spiritual center) that could help the "parts" de-polarize and work in harmony. His website is: His work is a fine addition to the intergenerational approach of Murray Bowen and Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy that I consider in the "familial faith" stage.

4 Healing Life's Deepest Hurts by Edward M. Smith.

This little book introduces Theophostic ("God's Light") Ministry (see Ed Smith, a Baptist pastoral counselor for many years, was getting "burned out" helping people get a little better after years of counseling. He asked God why those Jesus touched got healed and those he counseled merely improved. He was led to see the reason for the pain was not the abuse but the "lie" the person took in with it. He was led to let the pain take the person to the root source, ask God to reveal the lie and while the person experienced the darkness with that lie, ask God to reveal the truth. To his amazement, God did reveal truth, and with successive revelations the person got fully free. This powerful ministry, begun in the early 1990s, has spread around the world with some 1000 new people a month. A new book, A Catholic's Guide to Theophostic Prayer Ministry, by Father David Tickerhoof, TOR, relates theophostic ministry to the Catholic tradition. This ministry is powerful to help people move from "familial" to "individuating" faith.

4 Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol K. Truman.

Our illnesses and pains reflect an inner attitude or belief that if changed can bring healing or relief. What Karol Truman found was that our own spirit (especially if directed by God's spirit) can identify that negative belief and bring forgiveness and love if we direct it to do so. She developed a "Script" to guide our spirit to bring this shift and release the effects of this negative attitude up to the present. Her book has 44 pp. of physical ailments and the attitudes behind them and changes needed. Her approach has helped many, and it clarifies what changes occur with what I have called "individuating faith."

4 Loving What Is by Byron Katie.

Katie was caught in a pattern of rage and depression that brought her to a clinic. While there, she woke with an inner awareness and laughter that her own resistance to reality was behind her ills. In the peace that followed, and the people that came to her for help, she developed a series of four questions to help people get to the bottom of their opposition to reality and find the gift in "What Is." (see her website: As she says, "To fight reality is like trying to make a cat bark!" This also is a help for moving into "individuating faith."

4 Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute.

The Arbinger Institute provides consultants for management teams, parenting, and other organizational leadership with great success. This foundational book is a narrative, teaching a new manager that being "out of the box" (that is, true to oneself as caring for others as persons) is key to developing a cooperative, creative team. Being "in the box" (that is, driven by quotas, desire for business success, etc. which treats others as objects of one's goals) effects either conformity or latent resentment that ultimately undermines the team. This is a practical and powerful help to what I call "communitarian faith," which illustrates the effectiveness of caring relationships in business or family. Their website ( gives many other resources.

4 Companions of the Cross by Father Bob Bedard.

Father Bedard, a Canadian diocesan priest, was put in charge of a dying parish after giving a series of talks on parish renewal. He was led to "give God permission" to work in the parish and have the parishioners do the same. He only initiated projects (like prison ministry, evangelization) that emerged from the community. He lost members but gained ten-fold what he lost. His parish drew new members and he was allowed to begin a federation of priests that grew at a steady pace and now serves parishes in the United States and Canada. His website is: His approach to "listening to God" and acting is a fine model for "communitarian" and "mission" faith.

4 God's Ecstasy by Beatrice Bruteau.

With degrees in mathematics and philosophy and being a co-founder of a network of contemplatives, Bruteau is a rare combination of science and spirituality. In this book she takes the reader through reflections from astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, economics and politics to show the differentiation and creative union at different levels that, for the believer, reveals divine trinitarian relations as its ground. Bruteau's work expands one's vision of family to all creation as in our "mission stage."