A Pastor’s Self Image

Recently, I got a book for two pounds from book sale.  It is about pastoral care or pastor’s self psychological health.  This is a topic which has an affine interest with my thesis but of different discipline.  Nevertheless, due to personal growth and research of character formation of a pastor, I grasped the book on my first sight of it.  Here is a case study which tells a person by the name of Samson.  I find the following paragraphs particularly interesting and may also reflect some of our pastors in churches.  It certainly reflects some of my past or maybe even present status.
“He probably can be very charming and ingratiating in his superficial contacts with others, when he so desires, and in face, attempted to handle the sessions as if it were a social rather than a test situation."

“His approach to the Rorschach plates however, revealed that his eagerness to prove how cooperative he was, was a facade, for in actuality, delaying tactics as he attempted to control and suppress his spontaneous ideas, were very obvious. There was much talk (which at times was rather pedantic) and intellectualizing which reflected ont only obsessive character traits and deeply embedded feelings of insecurity and insufficiency, but his feelings about the task-like character of the situation.
At present the man’s interests are rather restricted to himself and the predicament he is in and he is depressed and disappointed in himself. His inability to cope with his difficulties in a masterful way seems to have revealed to him just how weak and inadequate he actually is as a man; feelings which he has probably always tried to escape from and which he compensated fro through his drive for prestige and recognition and through his manipulation of others. He probably does not quite believe or accept the self-derogatory statements he makes about himself at present, for they are too unacceptable to the self-image he has always striven to maintain."

Margaretta Bowers, Conflicts of the clergy : a psychodynamic study with case histories (Edinburgh ;New York: T. Nelson, 1963), 142-43



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