What specific contribution can the spiritual counselor or pastor make to the trauma healing process, alongside other professionals? From his own competence on religious domain, the pastor can guide the counselee in tackling the ‘Question of God’ and help to restore the connection with God. This pastoral counseling demands a safe setting, safeguarding of the counselee’s autonomy and a ‘non-anxious presence’ by the pastor. Especially important is that the pastor adopts an open attitude which does not shy away from the counselee’s (sometimes unspeakable) suffering and that he does not, on forehand, take an apologetic stance. The Book of Job can help to express the confusion of feelings that are evoked in a traumatic context, in particular in the relationship with God, other people and oneself. The language of Job appears to be very useful in formulating the experience of suffering and asking the most penetrating life questions.
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Egbert Brink (1961) studied theology at the Theological University of Kampen and the Faculté Libre de Théologie Réformée in Aix-en-Provence, majoring in the Old Testament and Dogmatics. He has served as a minister in Waddinxveen since 1997, previously having served the congregation of Nijmegen from 1990 onward. In 2003 he started working as lecturer Biblical Theology (exegesis and hermeneutics) for the Bachelor program for Theology provided by the Gereformeerde Hogeschool (Reformed Academy) in Zwolle. Starting 1 August 2012, he has been appointed as part-time lecturer at the Theological University of Kampen, for education and guidance in the field of the Old Testament particularly with regard to the Old Testament Books of Wisdom. Apart from regularly publishing books and articles in various fields within theology, Brink also speaks at conferences and publishes meditative and reflective articles. The eighth edition of Het woord vooraf (English title: His Word before yours), a contemporary guide to knowing God, suited for catechism classes for both young and old, has been published. It has since been translated into English (2006), Afrikaans (2009) and Russian (2011), while a French translation for use in the African context is in the making.
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