Tag Archives: Diane Langberg

Trauma Recovery and Counseling Training in Rwanda

Location map of Rwanda Equirectangular project...

Location map of Rwanda Equirectangular projection. Geographic limits of the map: N: 0.9° S S: 3.0° S W: 28.7° E E: 31.1° E (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I leave today for my second favorite place in the world–Rwanda. (1st favorite is wherever my wife and kids are). We are returning to do another level of training for counselors and caregivers (see this post for our previous Project Tuza reports) from a number of organizations caring for widows, orphans, HIV+ individuals, and trauma victims. [The photo at the top of this blog is from that last training] Our training this time will focus on domestic or family violence interventions, children and sexual abuse, and dealing with dissociation. In addition, we’ll focus on basic helping/listening skills and the features of good storytelling in counseling (not all efforts to tell trauma stories are helpful or healing).

Check back here to see posts about our training. I hope to be able to make some during our trip, but depending on connections, it may have to wait til we return. Here’s our itinerary:

6/21-6/22: Newark to Brussels to Kigali

6/23-25: church (preaching), visiting friends, important sites, meetings in preparation for this and future trainings; in both Kigali and Butare.

6/26-28: 3 full days and 2 nights of training, led and sponsored by World Vision Rwanda and AACC.

6/29: Participate in Umuganda (national required public service in Rwanda), final meetings, and boarding the plane to return home.

It is a short trip but we are able to,

  • give our new team members experiences in listening to the strengths and challenges of a community (essential to provide help that is not harmful or useless)
  • provide objective hands-on skill training (not mere information giving)
  • seek advice of local leaders as to future trainings (we always need to improve our ability to train well)
  • Enhance our relationships (Lord willing, we will continue to return year after year)

Check back for updates.


Filed under Abuse, christian counseling, christian psychology, counseling, counseling skills, Uncategorized

Dr. Langberg on Dissociation (part II): DID, Principles and Cautions

Over at my other site, www.globaltraumarecovery.org, we now have part II of Dr. Langberg’s talk (March 2013) on dissociation. This video covers the concepts of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and complex trauma. She ends with 10 principles and cautions for therapists working with clients who dissociate and/or who present with alternate personalities and identities.

Check out the video here. If you missed the first video or want to find other free resources, click around on that website.

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Filed under Abuse, christian counseling, christian psychology, counseling, counseling science, counseling skills, Psychology

Dissociation: What is it? What can be done?

For those of you who love or are helping PTSD or complex trauma victims, you may find this video link helpful. Dr. Diane Langberg (after an introduction by me) explores the experience and process of dissociation, or “leaving” the present. She discusses why it happens and what is going on when a person dissociates. At the end of the video, she explores a few helpful ideas for helping to ground the individual in the present.

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Filed under Abuse, counseling science, counseling skills, Psychology, Uncategorized

Diane Langberg on Lessons for Counselors

Back in November, Diane Langberg presented 10 things that counseling students might not normally hear about during their academic training. Click here for the video.

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Filed under Biblical Seminary, christian counseling, christian psychology, Christianity, Psychology, teaching counseling

Diane Langberg on Listening to Trauma

Here’s video of Dr. Diane Langberg musing about what she has learned from listening to trauma over the years. (link here) She made this presentation as a part of a larger evening of trauma counseling training at Biblical Seminary, November 12, 2012.

Enjoy. More to come soon.

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Filed under Abuse, christian counseling, Christianity, counseling, counseling science, counseling skills, Psychology

Repost at www.biblical.edu: What is Christian Psychology?

For many of you this is the season of buying Christmas presents. For me, it is the season of paper grading time. I have 46 term papers due tonight. Thankfully, I do have a TA helping with grading for the first time in a VERY long time. So, that is my excuse for no new posting today. However, our faculty blog is reposting a version of my recent blog on Dr. Diane Langberg’s definition of Christian Psychology. Alone, her definition isn’t intended to be comprehensive (as she does not choose to define psychology). Probably would be better to title this a definition of Christian psychotherapeutic intervention. The focus in this definition is on the character of the therapist and the submission to the Spirit’s working in the life of the counselee. The point of the definition is to remind us that we can define the boundaries of psychology from a Christian perspective and yet fail to see the relational aspects of the work that we do.

If you missed it, this link will show you the original post here on November 26 and some helpful questions and comments.

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Filed under christian psychology, counseling, counseling skills, Psychology

Diane Langberg on 9/11 “heap” experience

I know, 9/11 remembrances have come and gone. However, this reflection from Diane Langberg speaks to the struggle of the workers on the “heap” and her experience with them while they were uncovering their colleagues who had died trying to save others. As usual, Diane has a way of seeing God in the midst of death.

Here’s the link.


Filed under Doctrine/Theology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Must Read: Diane Langberg on “Trauma as a Mission Field”

My supervisor, mentor, and colleague, Dr. Diane Langberg has been telling us for some time that “trauma is the mission field of our time.” Recently, however, a few Christian NGO/Missions leaders have heard this line in one of her talks and have become electrified by it. I cited it last week in a board meeting at Biblical as I was trying to make the case that developing postgraduate trauma training at Biblical fits our mission: following Jesus into the world.

But, some of you have not heard her give one of these talks. For you, I point you to the World Reformed Fellowship website so you can read a report she made on June 5 regarding the problem of trauma and the opportunity of the church to have a hand in healing this man-made scourge. Below is an excerpt of that short report. Do go to the WRF link and read it in its entirety. The report is not long but it is powerful and includes a couple of specific comments from two leaders in Africa.

We are the church. That means we are the body of Jesus Christ and He is our Head. In the physical realm, a body that does not follow its head is a sick body. That is also true in the spiritual realm. We are His people and I believe with all my heart He has called us to go out of ourselves and follow Him into the suffering of this world bearing both His character and His Word. And we do go – we send missionaries and the Scriptures; we provide food, clean water, education and jobs for many. And we should. We have rarely, however, seen trauma as a place of service. If we think carefully about the extensive natural disasters in our time such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis and combine those victims with the many manmade disasters – the violent inner cities, wars, genocides, trafficking, rapes, and child abuse we would have a staggering number. I believe that if we would stop and look out on suffering humanity we would begin to realize that trauma is perhaps the greatest mission field of the 21st century.


Filed under Abuse, christian counseling, christian psychology, Christianity, Congo, counseling, counseling skills, Diane Langberg, Great Quotes, missional, Missional Church, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rwanda

Abuse and Trafficking Conference: Final Plenary

The abuse and trafficking conference hosted by Biblical concluded by hearing from Dr. Diane Langberg about the problem of sexual abuse in Christian communities and a panel discussion of the speakers.You may order DVDs here for a ridiculously low price.

Diane began her talk by acknowledged that the very title of her talk, abuse in christian communities ought to be “the king” of oxymorons, something that makes no sense to us. But sadly, abuse does happen in our midst. She provided several examples, from missionary kids being abused, to pastors abusing counselees and camp counselors their children.

While the abuse is horrific, what is even more problematic is the way the Christian community often covers up and protects the “head” or their reputation at the cost of the victim’s right to justice and protection.

People in power are protected because they are gifted, important, and successful or considered necessary to the furtherance of the work of the kingdom of God.  Vulnerable sheep, who have not found it safe to graze, have been thrown out, silenced, slandered and frankly, abused yet again by the power structure of the body that is not following its Head

How does this happen? Diane listed several contributing factors

1. a culture of systems.While systems are not inherently bad, they do have a tendency to be self-preserving over against rooting out sickness. Families have ways of tolerating great sicknesses via denial:

No system – family, church, community or institution – is God’s work unless it is full of truth and love.  Toleration of sin, pretense, disease, crookedness or deviation from the truth means the system is in fact not the work of God, no matter the words used to describe it. We have a tendency as humans to submit ourselves to some command or idea of men, of the past, of tradition, of a systemic culture and in so doing, refuse to listen to and obey the living and ever present God.

2. Deception. “Sexual abuse requires both deception and coercion or an abuse of power.  The deception must first be of the self and then of the victim and the community.” Diane pointed out that a significant problem happens in the Church when abusers use spiritual language to deceive.

3. Power. There are various types: positional, verbal, theological, emotional, etc. We have the power to speak up for those who have been silenced. Our failure to do so is complicity with the crime of abuse.

4. Misunderstanding of repentance. Quoting a convicted abuser, Diane told us that many see Christians as easy to dupe…with a few tears and emotions. But repentance must take time and bear the fruit of acceptance restrictions, seeking the welfare of others (not the end of punishment). Anyone who asks for trust and believes he/she is worthy of it (after abuse) does not understand the Scripture’s teaching on deception and is therefore at risk for further abuse.

Finally, She ended with some principles to remember. Some of them included remembering that sexual offenses against minors are crimes and therefore we are to utilize the criminal justice system. Sex between a leader and a parishioner is NOT an affair but an abuse of power. Systems are not to be protected but the weak and God’s name. God is glorified by truth, not lies and cover-ups.

May we, who are already in positions of power and influence, lead the way by falling down on our faces, imploring God to make us like Himself no matter the cost to our positions, our programs, our organizations, our ministries, or our traditions so that His precious sheep may safely graze.

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Filed under Abuse, Biblical Seminary, christian counseling, christian psychology, Christianity: Leaders and Leadership, deception, Diane Langberg, Doctrine/Theology

Last Reminder! Sign up now for our Sex Trafficking and Sexual Abuse Conference

Biblical Seminary’s March 17-19 conference on sex trafficking and sexual abuse in Christian communities is filling up. We have space for only 400 attendees. You do NOT want to miss a chance to interact with Dr. Diane Langberg, Bethany Hoang (IJM), Pearl Kim (ADA of Delaware Cty), and Robert Morrison (founder of FREE). If you have been thinking about attending this conference, sign up now. All the information you need about who, what, when, and where is found here. Registration is free and those who would also like academic credit or CEs can see what additional costs and work are required can use the previous link to get more information.


Filed under Abuse, Biblical Seminary, christian counseling, Christianity, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder