Those who experience complex trauma, particularly from a young age, struggle with meaning-making, that is, how to understand the bigger purpose of their lives. For someone who has been abused, their understanding of God – whoever God is – is through the lens of abuse. Self-perception and relationships with others are also interpreted through the lens of abuse. This calls for counsellors who are not only well equipped with the right knowledge and skills, but who are also spiritually sensitive and competent at integrating faith and practice. Witnessing a client’s story can be both a profound experience and a sacred privilege, however it doesn’t come without risks. As Diane Langberg (1997) said, “to sit with suffering is to be a companion to those things that will wage war on the core of your faith.” To do this work, counsellors need to attend to their own personal, relational and spiritual identity.
This workshop will explore the ways in which trauma impacts spirituality and meaning-making, and consider the implications and opportunities for counsellors, both personally and professionally