Category Archives: Biblical Seminary

Some thoughts on international trauma training


In just a few days I will be off to Uganda and then on to Rwanda to do some training with trauma healing workers in both country’s bible societies. In addition, a group of students from our Global Trauma Recovery Institute will join me in Rwanda to learn more about how to help without hurting. In light of this trip, I penned a few thoughts for those who have a heart to do something about the massive trauma needs around the world. Here’s a preview:

Trauma is a hot topic these days. We live in a world where we are aware of terrible traumas happening around the globe in real time. We hear and see tsunamis unfolding, towns being flooded when dikes are breached, mass shootings, bodies strewn about due to ethnic conflict, houses destroyed by errant bombs, and gender violence in almost every corner of the world. While humanitarian efforts to respond to the physical needs of those in trouble are not new, there is a recent push to have charity workers become “trauma informed” so they can also address spiritual and psychological distress.

Trauma is a hot topic not just because we have more evidence of it happening in real time. It is hot because we have better information about the impact of violence and abuse on the human brain, on human interactions, and on the fabric of a society (Mollica, 2006).

Christian counselors, many of whom want to provide cups of cold water to the hurting masses, undoubtedly wish to use their skills to bring hope, healing and recovery to traumatized peoples around the world. But just where should they start?

You can read the rest of my thoughts over at our faculty blog site.

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Filed under "phil monroe", Abuse, Biblical Seminary, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rwanda, trauma

GTRI featured in an online, free journal


Our Global Trauma Recovery Institute is featured in the most recent issue of the EMCAPP Journal for Christian Psychology Around the World. Pages 172-211 include an overview of GTRI, two essays by Diane Langberg (The Role of Christ in Psychology; Living to Trauma Memories) and one by me (Telling Trauma Stories: What Helps, What Hurts).

The journal also contains an essay by Edward Welch (www.ccef.org) where he muses his development as a biblical counselor, explores the matter of emotions and some of the stereotypes of biblical counseling. The journal also includes a large number of essays about Paul Vitz as well as a number about the Society of christian Psychology.

Take a look!

 

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Filed under "phil monroe", biblical counseling, Biblical Seminary, christian counseling, christian psychology, counseling, counseling skills, Diane Langberg, Ed Welch, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, trauma

Training Trauma Healers For The Church


Over at our faculty blog site you can find my summary of a recent trauma recovery training for pastors and church leaders. Biblical co-sponsored this training with the American Bible Society in an attempt to bring a well-established, scripture-engaged trauma healing model to the Philadelphia area. Read more about the model and its value as well as see a picture of the training (thanks Heather Drew).

Trauma comes to us in all shapes and sizes. Traumatized outsiders (i.e., immigrants), child sexual abuse, domestic violence, community violence, racial injustice and natural disasters are here, not just something that is “over there.” While we may have more professional mental health resources here than other communities have access to, we still do not have enough to serve the need. And even if we did, the best models of recovery connected traumatized people to their faith and their communities. What better place to do that than in the church?

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Filed under Biblical Seminary, counseling, counseling skills, suffering, trauma

Of Dogs and Christianity…


I have 2 new posts at our Biblical Seminary faculty blog: one about what my dog teaches me about shame and desire and another about a rethinking of Christianity through the lens of evangelisation of the Masai–not into a Western-style church but into their own expression of church and community. You might not have any interest in a tribe from Tanzania, but I think you will find Father Donovan’s book an opportunity for you to re-think what the Gospel is all about.

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Filed under addiction, Biblical Seminary, Christianity, church and culture, Doctrine/Theology

What is Global Trauma Recovery Institute all about? Check out this video


At the beginning of 2013, Biblical Seminary launched Global Trauma Recovery Institute to train recovery specialists here and around the world. We’re small but thus far we have taken 20 students through 120 hours of continuing education, another 15 have just begun, and we are now preparing some of those first students to travel to Rwanda to observe and participate in trauma recovery training with local caregivers. Those students we serve are from or located in three continents plus the United States. In addition, we have represented GTRI in trainings in South Africa and Rwanda this year as well as engaged Christian counselors in Romania during one of their trainings. Our hope for 2014 includes more of this kind of training as well as our first immersion trip with students. Think we are just focused on the international scene? No! The “abuse in the church” video on the right hand bar of this site was sponsored by GTRI as well.

Maybe you wonder what we do and how we handle cross cultural challenges. Check out this short 3 minute video below to see our (myself and Diane Langberg) heart for raising up capable recovery specialists here and around the world as they follow Jesus into the world.

Want to support? After viewing the video, please consider supporting us with prayer and even tax-deductible donations. If you do choose to donate, this link will bring you to a donation page. You can give to the seminary’s general fund (without their support, GTRI would NOT exist!) or you can give a specific gift to GTRI. Just note that in the comments section. Your gifts will enable us to serve more international students and to begin the formation of learning cohorts on other continents!

[Note: Link on image is broken, click here to see the video]

GTRI Video Image1

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Filed under Biblical Seminary, christian counseling, counseling, counseling skills, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, trauma

Classroom advice to grad students: Guest post over at biblical.edu


Our faculty blog at http://www.biblical.edu carries my post today. Check it out to see what 3 recommendations I make to our incoming students as they kick off their MA in Counseling program tonight!

 

 

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Filed under "phil monroe", Biblical Seminary, counseling science, counseling skills, Psychology

Want to be a Global Trauma Recovery facilitator?


Our Global Trauma Recovery Institute is gearing up to start our 2nd continuing education cohort in November for those who want training to become culturally savvy trauma recovery specialists. If you have been wanting to understand and address the issues of trauma that exist here and around the world, have graduate education in a counseling related field (or are involved in similar kind of work) and are able to complete both online and on campus training, then please check out our other site: www.globaltraumarecovery.org. This flyer will give you the nuts and bolts of our 3 course series (times, locations, and costs). This link will bring you to the course abstract downloads so you can see what you will be learning.

The first course begins November 9 and is fully on-line. We are NBCC approved provider of continuing education in mental health and counseling.

Who are the teachers? Diane Langberg, PhD and myself.

 

Check us out!

GTRI - First Graduating Class

Cohort One

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Filed under Biblical Seminary, Diane Langberg

Christian Cancer?


Biblical Seminary’s faculty blog has posted an older blog of mine on the “top form of Christian cancer”. Click here to go see what it is.

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Filed under "phil monroe", Biblical Seminary, Christianity, Relationships

Global Trauma Recovery Intensive: Day 1


20 students along with myself and Dr. Diane Langberg just finished a 3 day marathon together at Biblical’s Hatfield campus. This inaugural cohort has been studying together via our e-campus since January. We’ve read books, articles, watched slides shows, and discussed a wide variety of topics (e.g., the psychological, social, spiritual, biological impact of trauma, shame, culture, strengths-based listening skills, and faith and psychological intervention strategies). At this meeting, we continued to consider how to listen andGTRI - First Graduating Class respond to traumatized individuals in places other than our own.

Morning Session: Romania

Our morning consisted of a live engagement (thank you Google Hangout!) with mental health practitioners in Romania. Dr. Ileana Radu and Stefana Racorean hosted the meeting. The Romanian contingent consisted of mental health therapists, psychiatrists, and Christian leaders. As part of their conference, they took time out to ask us questions about trauma, trauma recovery interventions, and integration of psychology and Christian faith practices. In return, we asked them about the mental health scene in Romania, the most common forms of trauma and intervention models in their practices. From our conversations, it appears that they experience a significant divide between secular mental health models or “bible only or prayer only” models.

The conversation bolstered our students understanding of Romanian culture and put a human face to what they had read about regarding torture trauma resulting from pre-revolution days in that country. In addition, students had the opportunity to discuss a couple of PTSD cases written up by mental health practitioners in the conference.

The entire conversation and connection (bridge, according to our new Romanian friends) was the result of Dr. Langberg’s inability to travel to Romania in April. She was to be their keynote speaker but due to the death of her mother, she was unable to attend. The conference was rescheduled and Dr. Langberg spoke via SKYPE and previously recorded DVDs.

Afternoon Session: North Philadelphia

Elizabeth Hernandez, executive director and founder of Place of Refuge, led our afternoon session by giGTRI - appendix photoving us a window into the trauma work going in North Philadelphia among the latino population. She shared with us some of the groundbreaking work they are doing with low-income population who have experienced many traumas. The class also engaged around the matter of syncretism (Catholic faith practices mixed with witchcraft and other superstitions) and how faith-based counseling services are delivered.

We ended the day with some brief use of video to “listen” to trauma stories in Eastern Europe and the US. After these engagements, we had our students explore writing their own laments as means to connect with God and concluded with a corporate lament. The purpose of lament is to confess (one’s own sin or the sins of others!), converse with God and others, question God about what we see that is not the way it is supposed to be, and by questioning acknowledge hope in God that he is in the process of redeeming and rescuing a broken world. Lament is not a tool to get better but to connect to each other and to talk to God about our suffering.

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Filed under Abuse, Biblical Seminary, christian counseling, christian psychology, counseling, counseling skills, Diane Langberg, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, trauma, Uncategorized

Psychopharmacology for counselors? Take a class at Biblical!


This summer, Jim Owens, PsyD will be offering a one weekend class (Aug 23-24) entitled, Essential Psychopharmacology for Counselors. Jim is a board member here at Biblical and has extensive training in psychopharmacology. In fact, he is board certified by the Prescribing Psychologist Registry. He will review traditional and alternative medicines commonly used today as well as best practices for engaging prescribers. In his course description he says,

The ever-growing use of medications, both traditional and complementary, to treat mental health problems, has both helped and harmed many people. Approximately 80% of all psychoactive medicines are prescribed or recommended by non-specialists, who frequently have little time, training or experience to accurately diagnose the person’s condition. Therefore, trained counselors and psychotherapists are in a crucial position to aid their clients in getting appropriate treatment. This involves knowing some basics regarding which available talk therapies as well as medications are most likely to be helpful for those struggling with certain problems. It is also important to know how to interact with your clients’ physician(s) and other health care providers.

Get CEs!

The course is 1 graduate credit (includes some pre and post course work) OR, 9 CE hours for counselors. Biblical is an approved provider of CES for counselors by NBCC. To read more on costs and other CE approved courses this summer, click here.

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Filed under Biblical Seminary, christian counseling, christian psychology, counseling, counseling science, counseling skills, Psychiatric Medications, Psychology