Restoring the Image (by Roger Hurding)

I had not previously heard of Roger Hurding, but when browsing second-hand books last year on Play.com, this was good value and looked interesting.

'Restoring the image' is subtitled, 'An introduction to Christian caring and counselling.' This turns out to be an excellent summary of the book. It's a clear overview of the concept of caring or counselling, from the point of view of a relative or friend, rather than a professional. It starts by outlining the necessary qualifications for being of use as a cousellor - such things as the willingness to listen, and the ability to be non-judgmental. A great reminder that caring and counselling are not, usually, about offering advice - although that point is also made that in certain practical cases, it may be necessary to do so.

However, the aim of the book is to show Christians how to help people who are in trouble of any kind, both in resolving or moving beyond their problems, and finding the image of God within. Not all problems are solvable, but it's always possible to find God and to look for ways to go forward, with forgiveness if appropriate.

The book is not particularly long - just over 140 pages in paperback - and inevitably, being an introduction, it does not go into any great depth. It gives an overview of some particular needs that often arise: talking to angry adolescents, confused young people who seek guidance, those in stressful marriages, and so on. Illustrated with simple line drawings, the book suggests possible reasons for various problems, and potential strategies to explore. A lot of it is common sense but it's clearly expressed, and light enough for someone new to the topic.

I didn't learn anything new, but thought it a good overview and would recommend it for anyone who has not yet thought through issues of this kind. It's no longer in print, but often available second-hand, very inexpensively.

Review by Sue F copyright 2014 Sue's Book Reviews

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