Restoring the Shattered Self: A Christian Counselor's Guide to Complex Trauma

Restoring the Shattered Self: A Christian Counselor's Guide to Complex Trauma

by Heather Davediuk Gingrich


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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 reexperience 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.
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830827121
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 03/08/2013
Series: Christian Association for Psychological Studies Books
Pages: 237
Sales rank: 538,520
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Heather Davediuk Gingrich (Ph.D., clinical psychology) is associate professor of counseling at Denver Seminary and maintains a small private practice working with complex trauma survivors.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures


1. Shattered

2. Shattering the Self: The Effects of Trauma on Childhood Development

3. Rebuilding the Shattered Self: The Process of Counseling

4. Phase I: Safety and Stabilization

5. Phase II: Trauma Processing—Integrating the Components of a Traumatic Experience

6. Phase III: Consolidation and Resolution

7. Additional Treatment Considerations for the Client with Dissociative Identity Disorder

8. Spiritual Issues and Resources in the Treatment of CTSD

9. Vicarious Traumatization and Building Counselor Resilience

10. How the Church Can Help

Appendix: Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES)


Author Index

Subject Index

What People are Saying About This

Colin Ross

"In Restoring the Shattered Self, Heather Gingrich describes the treatment of complex posttraumatic stress disorder and dissociative identity disorder in a clear, readable manner. Balanced and thoughtful, Gingrich combines the principles of secular therapy with guidelines for Christian counselors and therapists. Restoring the Shattered Self is a valuable addition to the field."

Diane Langberg

"Understanding complex trauma with its significant and life-controlling symptoms is critical for any trauma therapist. Dr. Gingrich teaches us about these difficult issues clearly and carefully. She also captures for Christian counselors both the long-term and often difficult therapy that is required, as well as the redemptive power of Jesus Christ to utterly transform shattered lives."

Steven Tracy

"The effects of trauma are surprisingly complex and often counterintuitive. This is particularly true with the most extreme results of trauma--complex traumatic stress disorder. Until very recently there has been little literature on this subject, particularly from a Christian perspective. Thus, Heather Davediuk Gingrich has provided a most valuable resource in Restoring the Shattered Self. This is an excellent, sensitive work guiding clinicians and pastors in caring for those suffering from complex trauma. Whether or not one agrees with all of her therapeutic techniques (which is not to be expected with this complex issue), this book fills a glaring gap in the literature and will be a welcome resource to clinicians, pastors and mentors. Few authors are able to give such a readable overview of such a complex subject. I am grateful for this new resource to help the body of Christ care for the deeply wounded in its midst."

Carrie Doehring

"In Restoring the Shattered Self, Heather Gingrich distills years of wisdom gleaned from counseling victims through the three phases of establishing safety, processing traumatic memories and consolidating selves shattered through complex trauma. Her compassionate presence as a counselor and supervisor is conveyed through many poignant illustrations. This invaluable textbook needs to be read by every Christian counselor."

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Restoring the Shattered Self: A Christian Counselor's Guide to Complex Trauma 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a gem of a book! Heather Gingrich has hit it out of the park. As a mental health professional, I am grateful for such a practical book on how to effectively help those who suffer from childhood abuse, complex trauma, and dissociative disorders. I especially appreciate Heather's emphasis on how churches can work alongside of counselors to provide compassionate and knowledgeable care for the wounded among us and the pitfalls that need to be avoided so that further wounding doesn't occur due to ignorance. I highly recommend this book to counselors, pastors, lay workers and family members, as well as those who have suffered trauma themselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a pastor and a member of a police clergy team I find this book most informative.