Tag Archives: American Bible Society

Conference on Refugees and Trauma, March 15-17

If you are in the Philadelphia area, I want to give a final shout out for an important conference put on by the American Bible Society’s Mission: Trauma Healing. This will be our 5th (I think) Community of Practice conferences where trauma recovery practitioners meet to learn and encourage each other in the work of trauma healing. If you have never been before but want to hang out with folks doing trench work around the world, this is the place to be. Missionaries, mental health experts, ethnologists, linguists, pastors, humanitarians, and everything in between are the common attendees. This tends to be a rather intimate conference where you get plenty of time to talk around tables with folks doing what they talk about.

This year our conference theme is We are Sojourners: Refugees and Trauma (conference information and registration link).  What makes me excited this year is the diversity of presenters. We have well-known psychiatrist Curt Thompson presenting on attachment injuries related to trauma. We have presentations and a documentary unveiling about African Americans in the US (yes! Refugees can live in a land for generations and not be fully “home”). There will be presentations by Diane Langberg as well as presentations by experts on the current refugee crisis from the Middle East.

In addition, there will be this activity on Tuesday night which includes musician Michael O’Brien at historic Christ Church.

Those who have attended before should realize that this is now held in Center City Philadelphia at the office of the American Bible Society and not at the Mother Boniface Spirituality Center in the North East.

If you are interested in the wide world and burdened about trauma and refugees, come and meet your family!


Filed under "phil monroe", conferences, Counselors, Diane Langberg, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Training, trauma

Watch this on shame and trauma

A couple of years ago Diane Langberg spoke on shame and trauma for the American Bible Society. I highly recommend this 56 minute presentation. She talks about the experience of shame, the stickiness of self, communal forms of shame, and the myriad ways we respond to shame across various cultures.

We watched it again in staff meeting today. Make sure you catch her discussion of what some cultures believe cleanse shame. And then notice how that is close but a huge distortion from a Christian view of what heals shame.

Watch it here.

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Cameo in “Hope Rising” on ABC on November 30

Hope Rising, a documentary about The American Bible Society’s efforts to bring trauma healing to the Congo is going to be played on some local ABC stations beginning November 16. However, it airs here in Philadelphia on November 30 in the wee hours of the morning. I make a brief cameo in the documentary. Plus many of my friends doing the work are featured quite a bit. It will be aired on another local ABC affiliate channel, #246, the Live Well Network (LWN) on December 3. But, as they say, check your local listings or follow the instructions on this page to ask your local affiliate to air the program. In the meantime, check out this trailer,

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Filed under Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, sexual violence

Join Our Trauma Healing Community of Practice: March 17-19

March 17-19, 2014 is the 3rd annual Community of Practice hosted by the American Bible Society and their Trauma Healing Institute. As Advisory co-chair I have been involved in the planning for this event and am excited for what it is shaping up to be. Once again, we will be at the Mother Boniface Spirituality Center in Northeast Philadelphia.

If you are interested in networking with trauma recovery facilitators from 6 continents you should come. If you are interested in getting NBCC CEs, you should come. If you are wanting to learn more about the ABS trauma healing model, you should come. There will be presentations on the following topics (a sample)

  • Reports from trauma recovery work in Uganda, DRC, refugee camps, Sri Lanka, and more
  • Update on Resiliency (myself)
  • Urban Trauma (Michael Lyles, MD)
  • Shame and Trauma (Diane Langberg, PhD)
  • Military Trauma (Pat Miersma)
  • Trauma and children (Bethany Haley, PhD)
  • Update on current trauma recovery research (Matthew Stanford, PhD)

Check out this link to see the speaker list and networking opportunities.  Same link will allow you to register.

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Filed under christian counseling, christian psychology, counseling, trauma

Trauma Healing Equipping Week: February 2014

Biblical’s Global Trauma Recovery Institute is sponsoring the American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Equipping seminar set for the Philadelphia area late February 2014. This is a week-long seminar that gives participants hands-on experience with the Healing Wounds of Trauma material. If you are local and would like to have experience with this Scripture engagement material (excellent for use in churches or lay counseling contexts) that explores both content and means to teach others, I highly recommend you check out this 2014-02 Equip PA Flier.

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Addressing Trauma in International Settings: 3 Models in Dialogue

The 2013 AACC World Conference continues. Thursday, Drs Harriet Hill, Matthew Stanford, and Diane Langberg and myself will make the above titled presentation. Harriet will present an overview of the American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute work of developing helpers who can help others re-engage Scripture around their traumas. That model is centered around the small but helpful book, “Healing Wounds of Trauma” (you can find this on bibles.com). Matthew’s work is the Mental Health Grace Alliance project of hope groups–structured support groups that have been tested in Bengazi IDP camps and other locations. Diane and I will describe the beginning work of the Global Trauma Recovery Institute which is designed to support the existing work by local caregivers.

Follow This slide show link for our slides.

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Filed under AACC, Africa, Diane Langberg, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A day of trauma recovery: Stimulating talk and an important reminder

American Bible Society

American Bible Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today was the first day of the Community of Practice convened by the American Bible Society and their Trauma Healing Institute. The room was crowded with recovery specialists in practice around the world. While a few are mental health experts, many are missiologists, bible translators, linguists, pastors, etc. All are individuals who felt the need to address the pandemic of trauma in their little corner of the world. Participants are working in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America, Europe, Canada, and the U.S.

It was a stimulating day. Opening remarks by the new ABS president, Dr. Doug Birdsall, reports from ten different areas about recent trauma healing efforts. We heard about what was going on in Nova Scotia to Namibia to Nepal to Nigeria; in South Sudan, Kenya, Thailand, the DR Congo Papua New Guinea and some sensitive areas.

I got a chance to take the group through a fly-over of the cost and context of psychosocial trauma, some recent understandings of the impact of trauma on the body and concluded with a summary of what we know works (and some possible reasons why) and might be transferable and scalable in other parts of the world. Dr. Michael Lyles brought us an update of PTSD and tied it to the experience of the parable of the Good Samaritan. We also heard about resilience training in Namibia and the trauma of persecution and torture in the Middle East.

It is exciting to see what God’s people are doing with just a few resources and to hear how the Bible Society’s program of recovery is maturing and growing by leaps and bounds. However, Doug Birdsall’s meditation on Luke 10 is still ringing in my ears. After sending out the 72 to do ministry, they returned with joy over the great activity they saw. People were healed; demons cast out; the kingdom expanded. Jesus responds to them by saying something rather startling,

Yes, and there is even more amazing things to come. You haven’t seen anything yet. BUT, don’t rejoice over the fact that you have power to cast out demons. Instead, rejoice in the fact that your names are listed in the roll of citizens of heaven. [my paraphrase]

It is good to take heart in the small army of trauma recovery specialists. God is up to something great, even bigger than we can now see. But, it is always more important that he has come and redeemed us. Make sure that you are more happy about your redemption than about what you can do for God.


Filed under Africa, Biblical Reflection, Missional Church, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, trauma, Uncategorized

Job opportunity in trauma healing

American Bible Society

American Bible Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The American Bible Society has posted a job in the She’s My Sister and Trauma Healing Institute project. It is probably entry-level but will involve travel and close work with trauma healing projects around the world. The right person will need to be able to run projects, be organized and, of course, have a deep love for Jesus! Attached here is the job description. I know and highly respect Bagudekia and Harriet, the people leading this position.


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Global Trauma Recovery Institute Launched! Dr. Langberg Joins Biblical Faculty

American Bible Society

American Bible Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is my pleasure to announce that I and Biblical Seminary are the recipient of a sizeable grant to launch our new Global Trauma Recovery Institute–training for lay and professional recovery experts in the US and around the world. The grant (from an anonymous donor and the American Bible Society) funds the Seminary’s collaborative program with ABS to provide deeper training for those active in both trauma recovery efforts in the US or in training local facilitators in east/central Africa.

Why collaborate with a bible society?

ABS is involved in a trauma healing/scripture engagement project, focused in Africa but with other works going on around the world. This project has been under the work of ABS’ She’s My Sister initiative in the Congo. The bible societies were founded on bringing scripture to bear on the current issues of the time–specifically slavery. So, it make sense that ABS is interested in helping traumatized individuals recover from wounds by showing how God cares and is active in their recovery. Through connections with a few of my students, I and Diane Langberg have become co-chairs of the advisory council to the above-named initiative.

What does this mean for Biblical?

The generous grant will enable Biblical to do the following

  • Commission a research study of the psycho-social impact of trauma in the African context
    • in collaboration with Wheaton College’s Humanitarian Disaster Institute
    • WHY? We need better understanding of the scope of the problem and what locally led interventions will be the most effective (both in terms of success and sustainability)
  •  Develop introductory and advanced global trauma recovery courses that enable MA and postgraduate students to develop specialization in training local trauma recovery facilitators here and around the world
    • These courses will be delivered in a hybrid format starting late 2012; delivered in hybrid system (on-line and in-person)
    • Mental health continuing education credit will be possible
  • A hands-on practical experience under the direction myself and Dr. Langberg will be the capstone experience for students who complete the entire training
    • Likely 2013 in an African context
  • A website providing free and homestudy CE materials for those unable to come to the Philadelphia area
  • Consultation groups formed for those seeking help with cases and projects in domestic and international trauma recovery

How is Dr. Langberg involved?

Dr. Diane Langberg is the leading Christian psychologist with expertise in trauma recovery. Her teaching has taken her to South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Her books on sexual abuse remain popular with both clinicians and victims. She joins Biblical Seminary as a Clinical Faculty member (clinical faculty are practitioners who also lecture and train) and will have a leadership role in the shaping and delivery of the curriculum and trainings. It is safe to say that the counseling department has been most influenced by Dr. Langberg’s training and supervision.

How can I find out about these courses and consultation groups?

Until we launch the institute website, the best way to keep yourself informed is to do one of the following: subscribe to this blog where I will be posting updates; keep checking with www.biblical.edu for more information, or email me at pmonroeATbiblicalDOTedu and I will put your name on a growing list of those who want to be on our mailing list.

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Filed under "phil monroe", Abuse, Africa, biblical counseling, Biblical Seminary, christian counseling, christian psychology, Christianity, counseling science, counseling skills, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, trauma

Year-end giving opportunities for trauma recovery


Just a few days before the end of 2011 some of you may be considering year-end charitable giving ideas. You may not 11.5 million dollars to give away (like Google did to orgs like IJM!) but every dollar counts. Below are some of my suggestions if you are looking to give to trauma recovery efforts both here and around the world. I am absolutely sure there are many more good places that are excellent choices than I list here but I include my favorites and you can feel free to add your favorites in the comments section. I also admit that the first two choices might just directly benefit the work I do.

1. Trauma Training Ministry

A. Biblical Seminary. Yes. Biblical Seminary is involved in global trauma recovery efforts. Readers here will remember my posts about our trip to the DRC and Rwanda this fall. We will be launching trauma recovery training in 2012 (continuing education and graduate studies) by the summer. Look for more info on this site. Read Biblical’s December 2011 appeal letter by me sent to Biblical’s friends and family (sorry didn’t have a pdf version with letterhead). Gifts will support training costs and research.

2. East African Trauma Recovery 

A. She’s My Sister. The American Bible Society is using Scripture to engage individuals and communities suffering through the trauma of ethnic violence, especially women having been raped in the region. Their trauma healing workshops trains pastors and local leaders to be trauma healing facilitators in their own communities and in their own language. I can attest that those who go through the trainings are both active in giving away what they received and changed by what they learn. Click the “give” button on the side and choose how many women you wish to help.

B. DOCS Hospital. A medical ministry providing needed surgeries to women with fistulas as the result of rape in the DRC. They are doing fine work there and are serving many women who cannot control their urination without the repairs being done.

3. Domestic Trauma Recovery

A. The Place of Refuge. A counseling ministry to North Philadelphians. Specializing in trauma counseling work. I have known Elizabeth Hernandez since we first met in a counseling class in 1988. She is a fine woman, expert counselor, and an upright and godly person. Donations to Refuge will absolutely extend their ministry to many abused individuals.

B. GRACE. GRACE is a ministry to educate the christian community about the scourge of sexual abuse. GRACE is also involved in providing direction for victims of abuse and in bringing light to abuse cover-ups. As a board member I can attest to the fine work GRACE does with those reaching out for help in knowing what to do in preventing and responding to abuse in Christian settings.

4. Global Recovery Efforts

A. International Justice Mission. They may have received a large donation from Google for work done in India but they are fighting for freedom and justice for enslaved peoples around the world.

Whether you choose one of these fine ministries or one of your own, consider giving to trauma recovery projects this year.

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Filed under Abuse, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Uncategorized