Published books:

2021 (February 25) Sex, Power, Control; Responding to Abuse in the Institutional Church, Lutterworth Press

2021 (January 29 ) Taking Heart, John Hunt publishing

2015    The Only Mind Worth Having, Thomas Merton and the Child Mind, Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books.

2014   Universal Vision, A Centenary Celebration of Thomas Merton, co-edited with

Keith Griffin and Peter Ellis, Introduction, xviii-xxiii.

2011   Precious Thoughts, Darton, Longman and Todd

2010   Researching, Reflecting and Writing about Work, Co-edited with Steven J. Coombs, Routledge.

2007    The Four Steps of Love, Darton, Longman and Todd.

2004    Journeying Home. London: Darton, Longman and Todd.

2001    Self-Harm: a psychotherapeutic approach. London and New York: Brunner-Routledge

All can be seen on Amazon as well as through the publishers.

I have also written a number of articles and below are the abstracts from two published psychotherapy papers and below those details of published articles etc from 2012:

British Journal of Psychotherapy 2012 28 (1) : 98-109.


Fiona Gardner

Disclosures about the extent of sexual abuse within the church context and the gradual revealing of the way that the institution has responded in the past indicates underlying anxiety and associated defensive processes. It is suggested in this paper that these processes have led to secrecy and deception. Similarities between the behaviour of perpetrators and the response by the church are explored alongside current preoccupations within the church. Psychoanalytic ideas and theories of organizational dynamics are used to explore and reflect on the fantasies and explicit and implicit assumptions within the institution. It is suggested that the church has displayed institutional narcissism in its response to disclosures. Ideas are illustrated by generic situations.

British Journal of Psychotherapy 21 (1), 2004 49-62
Clinical Practice
‘To enliven her was my living’:
thoughts on compliance and sacrifice as consequences of malignant identification with a narcissistic parent
Fiona Gardner

ABSTRACT This paper explores the dynamics involved for children growing up with a narcissistic parent. It suggests that as a consequence of a malignant identification children resort to compliance and sacrifice in varying degrees. Compliance, as part of the sacrificial dynamic, also serves as a means for identification, which in the absence of other emotional nurturance the infant and later the child is reluctant to relinquish. Drawing on the personal and professional experiences of both D. W. Winnicott and H.J.S. Guntrip the paper discusses the underlying conflict between absorption into and abandonment from the narcissistic parent. The psychotherapeutic relationship offers a space to acknowledge the systematic interconnectedness that is at the heart of the malignant identification and the terrible dependency involved. Through a good personal relationship a benign identification with the therapist can begin to replace what was previously so strongly held onto. Brief extracts from two incomplete psychotherapies with young men are used to illustrate certain aspects of the therapeutic work involved.


Articles, reviews and book chapters 2019-2012 earlier list available on request.

2020    ‘Thomas Merton, ‘Accessible exemplar of the new mysticism’ in (ed.) Bernard Sawicki, Thomas Merton: Prophecy and Renewal, Rome: EOS pp. 317-328.

2019    ‘Being true to oneself with another’ The Merton Journal, 26, 2, 30-40.

2019    ‘Tension of Existence’, Studies in Spirituality, 29, 121-133.

2019    Book review of ‘Merton’s Palace of Nowhere’ by James Finlay, The Merton Journal 26. 1, 24-25.

2018    Book review of ‘Spiritual Guides: Pathfinders in the Desert’ by Fred Dallmayr, Modern Believing 59. 3, 262-264.

2018    Film Review of ‘First Reformed’, directed by Paul Schrader, The Merton Journal 25. 2, 27-29.

2018    ‘Crisis and Mystery: Thomas Merton and the Vietnam War’, The Merton Journal 25. 2, 3-13.

2018    ‘Kanchenjunga – “Yin-yang Palace of Opposites in Unity”: Reflections on Thomas Merton’s Experiences on the Mim Tea Estate Retreat,’ in The Merton Annual 31, 75-85.

2017    Book review of ‘The Rising Importance of Thomas Merton’s Spiritual Legacy’ by Kenneth Bragan, in The Merton Annual 30, 272-273

2017    Book review of ‘The Root of War is Fear: Thomas Merton’s advice to peacemakers’ by Jim Forest, in Modern Believing 58.2, 179-80.

2017   ‘Thomas Merton and Harry Williams: through breakdown to spiritual breakthrough’, The Merton Journal 24. 1, 37-46.

2017    ‘Exploring Thomas Merton’s Resurrection Consciousness’ The Merton Seasonal, 42. 1, 3-10.

2016    Book review of ‘Merton and Waugh: A Monk, A Crusty Old Man and The Seven Storey Mountain’ by Frances Coady, in The Merton Annual, 29, 257-259.

2016    Book review of ‘The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton’ edited by Patrick Samway, SJ, in Modern Believing 57. 2, 199-201.

2015   ‘Both IT and NOT IT … This Is the Way I Look At It: exploring personal experiences of God’, The Merton Journal 22. 2, 50-60.

2015    ‘Hacia una comprension de las ideas de Thomas Merton sobre la corduroy y la salud espiritual’, Cistercium, 264 (Enerio-Junio)

2015    ‘Unlocking the Door from the Inside’ in The Merton Annual, 28, 88-96.

2015    ‘“Merton Was and Has Been Terribly Important for Me”: The relationship between Donald Allchin and Thomas Merton’ in Boundless Grandeur The Christian Vision of Donald Allchin ed. David Keller.

2015    ‘I know and have seen what I was obscurely looking for’ in We are Already One eds. Gray Henry and Jonathan Montaldo, Louisville: Fons Vitae press.

2015    ‘I have become an explorer for you’ The Merton Seasonal, 40, 1, 20-1.

2014    Book review of ‘Thomas Merton: Selected Essays’ edited by Patrick F. O’Connell. Modern Believing 55. 2, 207-209.

2014    Book review of ‘The Lives of Erich Fromm, Love’s Prophet’ by Lawrence J. Friedman in The Merton Annual 27, 252-5.

2014    ‘Internal countries: where the self redeemed by Christ becomes the world redeemed by Christ’ in The Merton Annual 27, 72-82.

2013   ‘Thomas Merton and the Concept of the Child Mind: “the only one worth having”’ The Merton Annual, 26, 157-67.

2013   ‘Sanity and Spiritual Sanity within Spiritual Direction’ Presence 19

2013   ‘Towards an understanding of Merton’s ideas on sanity and spiritual sanity’ The Merton Journal, 20, 1, 14-22.

2012    Book review ‘The Wounded Heart of Thomas Merton’ by Robert Waldron in The Merton Annual, 25, 228-231.

2012    “You are you: that is the most important thing- everything is in it somewhere” an Analysis of the correspondence from Thomas Merton to John Harris in The Merton Annual, 25, 124-131.

2012    ‘“A tremendous experience”: The influence of St Therese of Lisieux on the spirituality of Thomas Merton’, The Merton Seasonal, 37, 4, 11-18.

2012    Book review of ‘The Making of a Saint’ by Kenneth Bragan, The Merton   Seasonal 37, 1.

2012    Book review of ‘Thomas Merton: Contemplation and Political Action’ by M.I.  Aguilar, Modern Believing 53, 2.

2012   ‘Defensive processes and deception: an analysis of the institutional Church to         disclosures of child sexual abuse’, British Journal of Psychotherapy 28, 1,  98- 109.