Margaret Kornfeld, a pastoral psychotherapist and past-President of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, uses the metaphor of gardening as a means of understanding the processes of planting, growing, tending, conserving, and harvesting that constitute community care and counseling. In ten illuminating chapters, she takes us through the great sweep of challenges facing pastoral counselors in an age of widespread social and psychological turmoil. These caregivers are animated by the spiritual practices of listening, hospitality, imagination, and devotion. As facilitators of wholeness, they must have the courage to face the projections of others and to handle conflict with compassion and creativity.

Kornfeld explains a panoply of handy tools, such as a wholeness network of local referrals, a five-step solution-focused treatment method, the ABC process of crisis management, and concrete ideas on the art of providing graceful interventions. She spells out the most up-to-date ways to handle premarital care, midlife's awakening, divorce, mourning, the loss of work, addiction, and abuse. A final chapter zeroes in on the problems of burnout and sexual acting out of caregivers. Cultivating Wholeness is a wise, humane, and practical book about healing in religious communities.