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Om författaren

Curt Thompson, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice. He graduated from Wright State University School of Medicine and completed his psychiatric residency at Temple University Hospital. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He and his wife, Phyllis, have two visa mer children and reside in Arlington, Virginia. visa färre

Verk av Curt Thompson


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Falls Church, Virginia, USA



Summary: Drawing on the experience of Paul, described in Romans 5 and using the insights of neurobiology, a psychiatrist explores how hope may grow out of suffering as one learns one is secure in the presence of God and of a caring community.

Suffering can touch the deepest places in our lives. Often the result of some trauma, suffering rewires our brains to respond in ways to protect ourselves or suppress the ongoing pain. We may not even be aware of why until it threatens our jobs, our relationships, our finances, and our health. Curt Thompson has met many sufferers in his psychiatric practice. Through an understanding of interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) and drawing on insights from the Apostle Paul of how we may be transformed through suffering, Thompson offers us a process, illustrated by a number of patient stories, of how people experienced such transformation at the level of rewiring their responses to anxiety-triggering events.

Thompson frames his account around Romans 5:1-5:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (NIV)

Crucial, in all human experience, according to Thompson is the forming of a secure human attachment, the lack of which is a source of suffering. When we have such an attachment, we can receive and know that we are loved and flourish, even through suffering. For the Apostle Paul, this secure attachment came through being justified by faith, knowing that he was at peace with and secure in God. This in turn allowed him to face rather than run from suffering, persevering, forming character and deepening hope.

But knowing these things in our heads is not enough. It is practicing different ways of thinking, responding, and bodily reacting. It involves bringing our awareness of what we suffer into a place where we are seen, soothed, safe, and secure (the 4 S’s). Thompson works toward this both in his personal work with patients and in confessional communities where people are able to “confess” the situations in which they suffer and experience the 4 S’s with others. The more they experience this, the more they can relinquish the behaviors that covered up their suffering. Like Paul, who speaks of standing in grace, there is a bodily integration, a standing in the 4 S’s that occurs. As people experience caring acceptance when they reveal what brings them pain and shame, they glimpse the glory of God, even as they most openly face the causes of their suffering.

But this process of facing suffering is hard and painful work. For some it is so hard, they turn back. But knowledge of the glory of being accepted and loved by Jesus can sustain us, especially when memories are reinforced by counselors and a caring community such as the confessional communities Thompson works with, and those memories become more embedded. Over time, as we persevere, character is formed, as we keep practicing Christ-formed and sustained responses to suffering supported in community. In Thompson’s practice, he and counselees “do the work” and “then pause and notice the work” which embeds it more deeply. They assess progress using the acronym FACES which stands for flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized, and stable, qualities that express increasing integration of our character.

Progress in being seen, soothed, safe and secure over time in one’s suffering, persevered in over time, not only forms character but contributes to an embodied hope as our responses are rewired and we increasingly taste Christ’s glorious acceptance, building our anticipation of what’s to come, coming full circle around to increasing glory.

Thompson is honest that not all complete the circle or cycle. For some, facing suffering is too hard, and they retreat. some find it too hard to be loved, when all they’ve known are people coming to hurt them.
Thompson discusses the rich young ruler who not only shrinks back from giving away his wealth but in finding eternal life through Jesus’s invitation to be in relationship with him, the one who “looked on him and loved him.” We keep loving those not ready to accept the invitation to be loved, even as we enfold those who do in communities where they are seen, soothed, safe, and secure, allowing them to do the hard work with Jesus of seeing their suffering transformed into hope.

I appreciate how Thompson frames this work with the wisdom of Romans 5. His narratives of patient stories elaborates what this looks like. He also helps me understand why it is hard for many to understand the place of grace in which they stand, that they are secure in the love of Christ. They know it in their heads, but haven’t yet had it transform the wiring of their lives, the patterns of their memories. It helps me understand why believing people often inflict pain on others. In the words of Richard Rohr: “If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.”

What Thompson describes is a process of transforming discipleship at the deepest levels of our lives, making it possible not only to transform suffering but transmit healing to others. I cannot help wonder if this is the healing needed for a church that seems so angry and fearful, one so enamored with control and power, that clings to national glory and demonizes the other because it has never experienced the greater glory of the love of God toward all people in Christ. I wonder….
… (mer)
BobonBooks | Feb 21, 2024 |
The Gospel Coalition Top Books Hearts Minds Bookstore's Best Books Outreach Magazine's Resources of the Year

We're all infected with a spiritual disease. Its name is shame.

Whether we realize it or not, shame affects every aspect of our personal lives and vocational endeavors. It seeks to destroy our identity in Christ, replacing it with a damaged version of ourselves that results in unhealed pain and brokenness. But God is telling a different story for your life.

Psychiatrist Curt Thompson unpacks the soul of shame, revealing its ubiquitous nature and neurobiological roots. He also provides the theological and practical tools necessary to dismantle shame, based on years of researching its damaging effects and counseling people to overcome those wounds.

Thompson's expertise and compassion will help you identify your own pains and struggles and find freedom from the lifelong negative messages that bind you. Rewrite the story of your life and embrace healing and wholeness as you discover and defeat shame's insidious agenda.
… (mer)
staylorlib | 3 andra recensioner | Aug 14, 2023 |
What a powerful book - the author presents the premise that shame is actively at work trying to disintegrate our minds and isolate us from others. He used psychology and Scripture to present the idea that shame is the primary engine behind sin, but also shows how vulnerability in a connected community is the antidote to shame that sets us free to live creatively and joyfully, as God made us to. Very intellectual but to me, an absolute MUST READ!
JourneyPC | 3 andra recensioner | Sep 26, 2022 |
First, there is too much here digest in one reading. But the story of shame is written all over my life, now that I can see. Part of the new language I am learning as God works a new story in my life.
boeintuy2 | 3 andra recensioner | Apr 20, 2022 |


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