Rev. Dr. Suzanne Coyle, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Marriage and Family Therapy and Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program, will celebrate the release of her newest book on March 7. The book, Spirituality in Systemic Family Therapy Supervision and Training, published by Springer Publishing Company, builds on aspects of her vocation as a pastor, marriage and family therapist, professor and supervisor, and proponent of narrative therapy. The book is the newest in Springer’s “Focused Issues in Family Therapy” series.
Coyle has long been compelled by the dynamics of narrative practice, having first been exposed to it years ago at a Kentucky Association of Marriage and Family Therapy conference. There, learning from prominent scholars and practitioners in the field, Coyle was struck by what she discerned to be its “uniquely spiritual flavor.” This led her to pursue further training at narrative centers around the world, including the Evanston Family Therapy Center, the Dulwich Centre in Australia, and the Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy.
Coyle then integrated into these foundational trainings her experiences as a pastor in several Indiana congregations. She explained, “The richness of the pastoral environment was a fertile ground for developing narrative ideas,” which led to her first two books, Re-Storying Your Faith and Uncovering Spiritual Narratives.
Perceiving the need for more work on spirituality in therapy for a wider context, Coyle set out in her newest book to offer a “spiritual/theological methodology” to the secular clinical world. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, in the book Coyle weaves together pastoral theology, liberation theologies, narrative practice, and systemic family therapy. In the model that emerges, she explained, “social justice is seen as a starting point in the therapy room and teaching environment through spirituality. I contend that a robust spirituality is firmly grounded in everyday life, beginning from immanence and stretching toward transcendence.”
The new book focuses on theory and practice regarding spirituality in systemic family therapy, and it includes chapters geared specifically to students, faculty, supervisors, and practitioners. Although her own training and practice is in marriage and family therapy, Coyle wrote the new book to be helpful to psychotherapists, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and psychiatrists in addition to family therapy.
Grateful for her nearly twenty years on faculty at CTS, Coyle said that the seminary has been “the environment that sustains me in further pursuit of new ideas. CTS is through and through the book.”
Order a copy of Prof. Coyle’s new book here.
Learn more about the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at CTS here.