Book Review: Counselling as a Christian Challenge
 Andrew Monaghan, Gill and MacMillan, 1991.

(183 ppy 
IR£9.99)

This is more of a reference book than an original work. Andrew Monaghan makes a
 wide ranging synthesis of the modern trends in and about counselling. Monaghan also 
quotes liberally from the many Christian Spiritual writers and theologians of the last
 twenty years.

Authors such as Dulles, Evely, Jeremias, Rahner will all be familiar to religious and
 priests who trained or studied in the past two decades. The author spends the first part
 of the book looking at a compendium of the most common things which bring people
 to counselling. For example: Bereavement, Depression, Guilt, Loneliness, Abuse. His
 aim is to compare and contrast modern counselling insights with traditional ‘church’
 responses and to propose a synthesis.

Andrew Monaghan is a priest and is involved in a ‘Radio Counselling’ service called
 ‘Open Line’ in Scotland. Pages 50 to 79 are a history of the development and philosophy
 of this programme. Throughout the book the author gives various lists of and some com
mentary on the various qualities and skills needed by Christian Counsellors. He balances
 them against the attributes of Christ as expressed in the Gospel stories.

Pages 89 to 118 comprise a literature review of current writers in the field of Christian
 counselling. This may be useful to a person wanting a potted version of what authors 
are saying before buying the books.

Chapter 4 is titled “Christ the Counsellor” and explores the development of Christ
 as an integrated man and his counselling style’. The idea being to giver the reader a
 model of counselling which befits a Christian counsellor. In his own words, ‘If this book
 helps one person to put aside the stone they were about to throw at one of God’s ‘bruised 
reeds’ and listened instead to their pain and confusion, it will have been worthwhile’.

I hope the author’s wish comes true. I don’t think this book adds anything to the
 range of material already available on the subject.

Alan A. Mooney