From the sacred scriptures of the world religions through contemporary times, poetry has helped individuals express and work through spiritual struggles. Journey of the Wounded Soul continues this ancient tradition in a contemporary voice. This collection of poems brings voice to spiritual struggles, seeking to create a community through poetic voice. It was written for those for whom spiritual struggles are a transitional period as well as for those for whom spiritual struggles are an intimate part of their daily spirituality. In addition to the poems, the Foreword by Thomas Moore along with the Introduction by Hoffman and Fehl provide a powerful framework for understanding and approaching spiritual struggles. Journey of the Wounded Soul offers comfort to the many who wrestle with their spirituality and those who are struggling through difficult spiritual periods.
This volume does a masterful job of describing the true depth of life experience through poetic verse. Readers who may feel utterly alone in their misery will experience companionship and understanding. In a unique way, they will be helped to “make it through the night” (in the words of Willie Nelson’s classic song). While they will still know the truth of the old spiritual, “You have to walk the lonesome highway all alone; nobody else can walk it for you,” they will yet sense others are walking it, too. This book is a valuable contribution in both theory and therapy.
– Newton Malony, PhD, Author, Religion in the History of Psychology
Try reading each of the poems in this marvelous collection by therapists and clients, academics and students, poets and novices, who have advocated for the inclusion of the humanities in their theories, research, practice, and lives. Journey of the Wounded Soul is a collection of poems that bears testament to the human condition. Each of these carefully chosen selections tells its own story. Each can be read—and read again—to provide insight, compassion, and inspiration.
– Stanley Krippner, PhD, Alan Watts Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University; Co-author, Personal Mythology, Co-editor, Healing Stories
In this book, Journey of the Wounded Soul: Poetic Companions for Spiritual Struggles, authors Louis Hoffman and Steve Fehl do something extraordinary. They provide us with companionship as well as poetic license to share our own spiritual struggles and to find the gold hidden in these struggles. These struggles, that include existential loneliness, doubting, and questioning, are often best expressed through the arts. When discursive language fails, symbolism, image, and rhythm can sometimes convey more powerfully the depths life’s struggle. It is difficult and lonely to be a genuine seeker. By providing this book of thoughts and poems, Hoffman and Fehl give us permission to share our own struggles as well.
– Ilene Serlin, PhD, Author, Whole Person Healthcare
Journey of the Wounded Soul helps you take off the familiar glasses that frame your life and open you up to different ways of experiencing. These poems enable you to take suffering by the hand and walk with it as you might with an old friend. There are no empty promises in this book but just an open and honest invitation to walk with suffering wherever it leads. The Journey of the Wounded Soul is challenging, wise, and surprisingly hopeful.
– Glendon Moriaty, PsyD, Professor, Regent University; Author, Pastoral Care of Depression and Integrating Faith and Psychology
The beauty inherent in this gem of a book is embodied in the way it organically weaves the thread of spirituality through the terrible and sublime, through sadness and joy, through grief and illumination, and through despair and hope. It celebrates the paradox and mystery of spirituality and provides raw, rare, precious glimpses into the heart of healing that is usually such a private, solitary experience. I am deeply grateful for these courageous offerings. I look forward to using this book in my work with clients in their own journeys through trauma and loss and the recovery of spirituality. I also plan to gift my therapist colleagues as a boon for their own personal and professional journeys.
– Drake Spaeth, PsyD, Associate Professor, Chicago School of Professional Psychology; Adjunct Faculty, Saybrook University; Ordained Minister, Earth Traditions