As I think of my personal bias in pastoral counseling an image comes to mind. This image comes from a group of kaleidoscopes that rest on a table in my counseling office. Kaleidoscopes are made with mirrors and pieces of organic matter that create changing designs as the pieces change position in a random manner. This change is a mechanical change that results in a new design with each turn of the kaleidoscope by the observer.
As a gift, I recently received a new kaleidoscope unlike any I had seen before. This one has the mirrors and pieces of organic matter, but with this one, the pieces of matter, rather than rigidly falling and crashing violently against one another, are, instead, floating in a suspension of glycerin. The viewer, looking through the kaleidoscope, adjusts the cylinder just like with any other kaleidoscope. After the viewer adjusts all that she or he can adjust, the glycerin takes over and provides a sense of life-giving power which forms the final new creation. It never fails to amaze me that this new creation is even more beautiful than any one I could make by my own efforts.
The glycerin suspension of the kaleidoscope seems to be a metaphor that describes the strengthening of the weak self that can occur in the process of pastoral counseling. It is a process of self-awareness and increased self-esteem that can bring a person to a moment of epiphany. The person can be understood and can understand. A moment of “Aha!”, can create a new and more beautiful picture for the future of the person. This happens under the mechanical facilitation by a pastoral counselor and the life-giving spirit of a much higher power.
“A brief excerpt from Dr. Lovett’s dissertation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.”
Dr. Lovett received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His Master of Divinity is from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina. He received his Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois.
Dr. Lovett is a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) since 1992. He is licensed by the State of Tennessee as Clinical Pastoral Therapist. He is also recognized by the state as Licensed Professional Counselor. Dr. Lovett currently serves as treasurer for the Tennessee Association of Pastoral Therapists.
Dr. Lovett was ordained in 1982 and served as pastor before practicing full-time counseling. He is endorsed by the Episcopal Church through the Assembly of Episcopal Healthcare Chaplains (AEHC) for the specialized ministry of Pastoral Counseling.
Some of the most important credentials for Dr. Lovett are family related. He is married to Anne (Elkins) and shares six grown children. These children have provided such joy in their procreation of nine grandchildren ranging in age from eighteen years to three. We now have one grandchild who is a high school graduate and currently enrolled at Pellissippi State.