Change of vocation

  • John C. Gunzburg


Cathryn, 29, a hospital microbiologist, was saddened at the thought that her planned third child might never be. Married for six years to Timothy, 46, a university lecturer in comparative religion, their two children Peter, 5, and Anne, 3, were giving Cathryn much pleasure. Cathryn felt that a third child would be truly ‘life-giving’. A major area of conflict, however, was that Timothy had commenced earning income late in life. A member of a religious order for 20 years, Timothy had decided to embark on a secular life, had married Cathryn, and believed that because of his delayed start as breadwinner, he could not afford financially to support a family of five. Timothy found that his two active youngsters were already a distraction for him, and together with the stresses of his work and Cathryn’s part-time employment in a hospice, felt that another child would surely create an intolerable pressure. Cathryn was of a different opinion. She felt certain that they would both accommodate well to a third child, if only Timothy would take the risk.


Religious Order Internal Critic Delayed Start Comparative Religion Unresolved Grief 
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  1. Gunzburg, J. (1991) Family Counselling Casebook, McGraw-Hill, Sydney, p. 258.Google Scholar

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© John C. Gunzburg 1993

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  • John C. Gunzburg

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