Listening and good relationships go together: the better we relate, the more we are able to listen; and the more effectively we listen, the better our relationships become. Within that kind of environment, people are also able to find individual growth towards personal wholeness; and these three together create a benign circle, each enhancing the other and contributing to The Grace Space in a little microcosm of the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Currently a minister in the United Reformed Church, Michael Forster has been in people-centred work for over three decades, spent mostly in the worlds of education, health and spirituality. His experience in these areas convinced him that the best thing we can offer one another is the space to be who we truly are, and that the experiences of being genuinely valued and heard are vital elements in creating that space.
This led him to study for a formal qualification in counselling, drawing together the threads from wide-ranging experience. He holds the Post-Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Nottingham Trent University. His principal theoretical model is the Person-Centred Approach, and he is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
Each session in this five-session introductory course is in three parts:
- Practical input and exercises
- The Three Rs in Refreshments, Relaxation and Relating
- Bible study, allowing the practical work to shed new light on offering
fresh insights into the biblical material
The material is set out in the order of presentation, with miniatures of the OHP acetates included where these are to be displayed. Simply change the acetate when the next one appears in the notes. Full-size versions of these OHPs are included in the book for easy photocopying; they are also included on the CD for PowerPoint presentation.
Michael Forster (born 1946) is a prolific writer recently retired from his post as a senior chaplain in a mental health and learning disability NHS Trust where he had served for seventeen years. During this time he regularly worked with service users, carers and staff in a wide range of settings from palliative care suites to secure forensic mental health units. As part of his professional development, he successfully undertook a postgraduate diploma in counseling and psychotherapy.