When Religion Hurts You: Healing from Religious Trauma and the Impact of High-Control Religion

When Religion Hurts You: Healing from Religious Trauma and the Impact of High-Control Religion

by Laura E. Anderson
When Religion Hurts You: Healing from Religious Trauma and the Impact of High-Control Religion

When Religion Hurts You: Healing from Religious Trauma and the Impact of High-Control Religion

by Laura E. Anderson

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Overview

"Anderson strikes a smart, balanced tone. . . . An exemplary guide to an understudied issue."—Publishers Weekly

"An exposé of the dangers of high-control religions that makes it easier to recognize and resist religious abuse."—Foreword Reviews

Religious trauma is something that happens far more often than most people realize. But religious trauma is trauma.

In When Religion Hurts You, Dr. Laura Anderson takes an honest look at a side of religion that few like to talk about. Drawing from her own life and therapy practice, she helps readers understand what religious trauma is and isn't, and how high-control churches can be harmful and abusive, often resulting in trauma. She shows how elements of fundamentalist church life—such as fear of hell, purity culture, corporal punishment, and authoritarian leaders—can cause psychological, relational, physical, and spiritual damage.

As she explores the growing phenomenon of religious trauma, Dr. Anderson helps readers embark on a journey of living as healing individuals and finding a new foundation to stand on. Recognizing that healing is a lifelong rather than a linear process, she offers markers of healing for those coming out of painful religious experiences and hope for finding wholeness after religious trauma.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587435881
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/17/2023
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 44,425
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dr. Laura Anderson (PhD, Saybrook University; LMFT) is a therapist, trauma resolution and recovery coach, writer, educator, and creator who specializes in complex trauma with a focus on domestic violence, sexualized violence, and religious trauma. Laura has a private practice in Nashville, Tennessee, and is the founder and director of the Center for Trauma Resolution and Recovery, an online coaching company where she and the other practitioners work with clients who have experienced high demand/high control religions, adverse religious experiences, cults, and religious trauma. In 2019, Laura cofounded the Religious Trauma Institute with the goal of providing trauma-informed resources, consultation, and training to clinicians and other helping professionals who work with religious trauma survivors. Laura lives with her dog, Phoebe, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Table of Contents

Contents
Introduction
1. My Story
2. What Is Religious Trauma?
3. Religious Abuse and Adverse Religious Experiences
4. Nervous System 101
5. Rebuilding Your Identity after the Old One No Longer Fits
6. Engaging in a Relationship with Your Body
7. Stabilizing the Nervous System
8. Boundaries Built on a Foundation of Self-Trust and Self-Compassion
9. Grieving the Life You Once Had
10. Developing a Robust Spectrum of Emotions
11. Reclaiming Sexuality and Pleasure
12. Establishing Healthy Connections and Relationships with Others
13. Integrating the Living Legacy of Trauma
Conclusion
Appendix: Religious Power and Control Wheel
Additional Resources
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