For many people, trauma represents a spiritual or religious violation for many people. Survivors attempt to make sense out of painful events, incorporating that meaning into their current worldview in either a harmful or a more helpful way.
This volume helps mental health practitioners — many of whom are less religious than their clients — understand the important relationship between trauma and spirituality, and how to best help survivorscreate meaning out of their experiences.
Drawing on relevant theories and research, the authors present a new conceptual framework, the reciprocal meaning-making model, demonstrating how it can guide both assessment and treatment.
Through the use of case material, the authors examine a range of spiritual views, traumas, and posttraumatic reactions that are reflective of the population as a whole rather than targeting only specificreligions or cultural perspectives.
This book fills an important gap in the scientific literature on the topic, and will appeal to clinicians and researchers alike.
- The Intersection of Religion/Spirituality and Trauma
- The Centrality of Meaning in Human Lives
- Reciprocal Relationships Between Spirituality and Trauma
- Current Treatment Approaches to Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- The Reciprocal Meaning-Making Model: Clinical Implications
- Assessment From the Reciprocal Meaning-Making Perspective
- Overview of Treatment Issues From the Reciprocal Meaning-Making Model
- The Therapist's Place in the Reciprocal Meaning-Making Model
- Working With Beliefs, Goals, and Values
- Interventions for Helping Clients Resolve Spiritual Struggle and Increase Spiritual Well-Being
- Developing Resilience
- Ethical Considerations for Addressing Spirituality With Trauma Survivors From a Reciprocal Perspective
- Applications and Future Development of the Reciprocal Meaning-Making Model
Appendix: Assessment Tools for the Reciprocal Meaning-Making Approach
About the Authors
Crystal L. Park, PhD, is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Connecticut.
Her research focuses on multiple aspects of coping with stressful events, including the roles of religious beliefs and religious coping, the phenomenon of stress-related growth, and the making of meaning in the context of bereavement, traumatic events, and life-threatening illnesses. Her recent work has focused on integrative approaches to health, especially yoga.
Joseph M. Currier, PhD, is an assistant professor and director of clinical training in the combined Clinical and Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program at the University of South Alabama.
His research focuses on psychological, spiritual/existential, and physical health consequences of military trauma and other stressful life events (e.g., bereavement, community violence) and on enhancingclinical interventions and assessment practices for individuals and families dealing with these issues. Many of his recent projects have focused on testing and validating the construct of moral injury as it relates to military populations and on illumining ways in which religion and spirituality can help and hinder recovery from trauma.
J. Irene Harris, PhD, LP, is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Departments of Psychiatry and Counseling Psychology, as well as a clinician investigator at the Minneapolis VA Health CareSystem.
Her research focuses on the intersection and clinical applications of relationships between spiritual/religious functioning and mental health, with an emphasis on trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder(PTSD). Her recent work has focused on clinical approaches to the treatment of moral injury and spiritually integrated approaches to the treatment of PTSD.
Jeanne M. Slattery, PhD, is professor of psychology at Clarion University.
She has written Empathic Counseling: Meaning, Context, Ethics, and Skill (with Crystal Park; 2011) and Counseling Diverse Clients: Bringing Context Into Therapy (2003).
She has a small private practice working with adults and children with mood and anxiety disorders, especially subsequent to a history of trauma.
Essential reading for anyone who works with people touched by trauma. Grounded in advances in theory, research, and practice, this important contribution adds much-needed meaning, spirit, and depth to our clinical understanding and treatment of those facing the most shattering of life's experiences.
—Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH; author of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing the Sacred
The authors beautifully articulate the many and complex ways that trauma, spirituality, and meaning-making intersect, as impediments and as resources to those who have been traumatized. They providecompelling case studies that attend to a diversity of religious and cultural practices and beliefs as they describe a model for the therapy of affected individuals and their loved ones. I am happy to endorse thisbook — it will be of enormous help to clinicians and their clients.
—Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP, Licensed Psychologist, independent practice, Washington, DC (retired); coeditor of Spiritually Oriented Psychotherapy for Trauma; author of It's Not You, It's WhatHappened to You; and coauthor of Treating Complex Trauma