Fr Heyward Ewart is the Bishop, Diocese of The Risen Lord, Holy Catholic Charismatic Church, President/Academic Dean, St. James the Elder Theological Seminary, and Professor, American Association of Christian Therapists and Institute of Theology and Christian Therapy: May, 2009 to present
He practices in private counseling ministry from 1981 to present
He has a record of presenting and writing on topics related to child abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and substance abuse issues.
His latest book, “Am I Bad,” Is a book outlining various concepts about abuse and trauma.
Give a brief synopsis of your book.
The book postulates that victims of child abuse are destined to be victimized their whole lives. The reason is that abuse, being the strongest form of communication, alters the personality so that the child grows up with a “less than” mentality and a warped image of himself (or herself). Graphic case histories illustrate this point, and a new model of personality development is presented.
Tell me about your inspiration for this book.
My own brutalization as a child plus my experiences as a professional psychotherapist made clear the need for such a work. I have seen that the majority of so-called “mental patients” are abused people trying to adjust. They are reacting to mistreatment. But there is no normal way to react to craziness.
Who will benefit from “Am I Bad?”
The book is intended to set victims free by helping them understand the truth about how they formed their false self image. It is also meant for professionals to help them see how child abuse rapes the soul and to suggest ways to treat the devastation suffered by victims.
What other writing projects are you currently working on?
I write regularly for Ezine.com, and have contributed 41 articles thus far. The subject matter includes articles on child and domestic abuse plus spiritual issues.
What other works have you written?
On the Rock: A Defense of the Catholic Faith (with Vincent A. Capozzi)
A Carnation A Day: A Pro-Life Doctor’s Story
Contributor to Dean Tong’s Elusive Innocence
(The first two are out of print.)
How did you begin writing?
I was an English major as an undergraduate. As a young man, I would read the poetry of Wordsworth, Keats, or Shakespeare, and they would bring me to tears. Writing is an art that has the power to stir the soul. This same art form is perhaps the best way to convict readers in the truth.
Tell about your counseling practice.
I have been a Catholic psychotherapist for nearly 30 years, beginning in Philadelphia. I noticed at the very start of my private practice that I was always treating the “wrong” patient. The family member who shows up for therapy is the one taking the wrap for the dysfunction of the whole family. In time, I realized that nearly all of my patients had been abused in some way and had formed a mangled view of themselves. They had no idea of who they really were or what they might be called to be. This experience led me to the concept of the “adopted self”; that is, the construct formed by other people’s opinions and then the experimentation of adolescence.
Tell about your background as a priest, how do you think it influences your work?
A priest must be in contact with the Ultimate Truth on a daily basis. Knowing that only the truth can set people free from mental bondage demands that I speak and write the truth. I can be very patient with people who are undereducated or uneducated but I have no time for those who refuse to learn or who recklessly disregard the truth.
How do you integrate your faith into your work?
I begin each day with the prayer that I will not be permitted to minister to anyone without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I maintain that no one can understand the soul (mind)of another human being without the direct help of the Holy Spirit. Giving a person a psychological test is like trying to measure the universe with a ruler.