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.
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!
Filed under "phil monroe", biblical counseling, Biblical Seminary, christian counseling, christian psychology, counseling, counseling skills, Diane Langberg, Ed Welch, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, trauma
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?
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.
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.
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]
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!
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.
The faculty blog at Biblical Seminary has posted one of mine about mindfulness from a Christian perspective. Actually, it is a call to develop a theology of mindfulness–or what I prefer to call watchfulness. While you are there, check out some of the other postings by my colleagues.
I have another post over at the Biblical Seminary faculty blog describing three reasons why we require our counseling students to attend our program retreat each fall.