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The Contemplative Counselor
On Wednesday, January 5, Providence College and Seminary launched a book by one of its faculty. The Contemplative Counselor: A Way of Being, authored by Associate Professor of Counselling Psychology, Rodolfo Nolasco, was published by Fortress Press this month. Dr Nolasco holds a BA from the University of the Philippines, a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology from Boston University. He has taught counselling at Providence since 1999. He did research for the book during his sabbatical for which he received a Lilly Theological Scholars Grant.
The Contemplative Counselor challenges contemporary views of “quick-fix” counseling with a model of contemplation for both counsellor and counsellee. Learning to “be” is as important as learning to “do.” Dr Nolasco draws on the ancient Christian tradition of contemplation and incorporates his research of contemporary writers such as Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen. The book is informed by the contemplative tradition but also demonstrates competency in more contemporary methods and models of counseling and psychotherapy. The principles of “contemplative counselling” are copiously illustrated with examples from Dr Nolasco’s personal life and the work he has done with counsellees. Dr Nolasco also writes of the social transformation that can take place through counselling and illustrates this with stories from his leading an educational trip for Providence students to Rwanda to do post-trauma counselling in the wake of the Rwandan genocide.
After a brief introduction to Dr Nolasco, the book launch event heard from student Dixie Vandersluys and former Providence faculty member Dr Sieg Hiebert, who each gave personal responses to their reading of the book. Dr Nolasco gave a brief response after which President August Konkel made some closing remarks and prayed for the success of the book. The launch was attended by a number of students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
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