What is complex traumatic stress disorder (CTSD)? How do Christian counselors help complex trauma survivors live the 'abundant life'? Are we inadvertently retraumatizing our counselees?
The challenge of counseling survivors of complex trauma is one that many Christian counselors are not adequately equipped to handle. Too often the result is the painful re-experience of the traumatic event in a way that can further damage their personhood and alienate them from the church. In such sensitive cases, empathy and care must be wedded to the skilled application of foundational counseling principles.
In Restoring the Shattered Self: A Christian Counselor's Guide to Complex Trauma Heather Davediuk Gingrich brings years of counseling experience to bear on this delicate and difficult issue. She presents Judith Herman's classic three-phase model for dealing with CTSD, focusing on safety and stabilization, the processing of traumatic memories, and consolidation and restoration.
Gingrich ably integrates the established research on trauma therapy with keen insights from her own experience and an intimate understanding of the special concerns related to Christian counseling--including a discussion of prayer and spiritual warfare. This work is a thoughtful and much-needed guide for working with complex trauma that is essential reading for counselors and pastors alike.