Healing the Wounds of Trauma

Release date: February 2013

Paperback, 116 pages
Trim size: 5.25 x 8.25 inches

Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill, Richard Baggé, and Pat Miersma

About this Book

This book offers a practical approach to engaging the Bible and mental health principles to find God’s healing for wounds of the heart. This provides a strong foundation for restored lives and relationships.

It is a resource for leaders in churches and NGOs who care for people who have suffered horrific events like war, civil unrest, ethnic conflict, rape, and natural disasters. It will also help individuals struggling with suffering. It provides core mental health principles within a biblical framework, an approach that has been field tested since 2001 with leaders from Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and independent churches. It has been adapted into more than 150 languages and cultures around the world.

It is designed for use in groups and written in simple and non-technical language. Each lesson begins with a story depicting its topic, followed by discussion questions and participatory exercises. The book includes 270 Bible references from 217 passages.

This is the core book of the Trauma Healing Institute at American Bible Society.


“This book puts clear information about trauma in the hands of the global church. Its roots go down deep into the work of Christ on the cross and the truths of God’s Word. The teachings are sound and give ample room to the importance of understanding what trauma does to human beings, the need to tell their story and to grieve. The book is a gift to the body of Jesus.”

—Diane Langberg, Ph.D. , psychologist and author;
Co-Chair, Trauma Healing Advisory Council

“This is by far the best book I know of to introduce hurting, grieving, traumatized people to the Scriptures and the healing power of the cross. What’s more, this book doesn’t just tell you Bible truths. It creates space for real conversations about heart wounds, the purpose of lament, and the nature of spiritual flourishing in a broken world.”

—Phil Monroe, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist;
Professor of Counseling & Psychology, Biblical Seminary;
Co-Chair, Trauma Healing Advisory Council

“I have found that it is a book I can put into the hands of church leaders. Its straightforward approach makes it easy to use. Its many biblical references touch the heart of believers who use the book. I have found that its vision and methods travel well across denominational boundaries in the Church. This is quite simply the best single little book I have seen for these purposes.”

—Robert J. Schrieter, C.PP.S.
Professor of Theology, Catholic Theological Union

“Your material is excellent and applicable because of its simplicity, lack of high flown technical terms, and interactive process, along with a strong biblical foundation. . . . I cannot describe to you adequately the response from the participants. They kept saying how much the stories and the method was helpful. . . . One lady shared how her heart had grown cold towards God after experiencing two tragic deaths in her family over the past eight years. After the seminar where the first topic addressed the issue of where is God when we are suffering, she testified that she is so thankful she came and she has begun her journey back into God’s arms.”

—Dileeni Abraham, Adjunct Lecturer and Counselor,
Colombo Theological Seminary, Sri Lanka

Table of Contents

  • The Goals of This Book
  • How This Book Came About
  • How to Use This Book
    • Lesson 1: If God Loves Us, Why Do We Suffer?
    • Lesson 2: How Can the Wounds of Our Hearts Be Healed?
    • Lesson 3: What Happens When Someone Is Grieving?
    • Lesson 4: How Can We Help Children Who Have Experienced Bad Things?
    • Lesson 5: How Can We Help Someone Who Has Been Raped?
    • Lesson 6: How Can a Church Minister in the Midst of HIV and AIDS?
    • Lesson 7: Caring for the Caregiver
    • Lesson 8: Response:Taking Your Pain to the Cross
    • Lesson 9: How Can We Forgive Others?
    • Lesson 10: How Can We Live as Christians in the Midst of Conflict?
    • Lesson 11: Looking Ahead
  • Forgiveness Ceremony
  • Recommended Readings
  • Acknowledgements

About the Authors

The four authors of this book have trained trauma healing facilitators with these materials since 2002. Harriet Hill, program director for the Trauma Healing Institute at American Bible Society, received her Ph.D. in intercultural studies from Fuller. Margaret Hill, Scripture Engagement coordinator for SIL in Africa, received her master’s degree in education from the University of Manchester (UK). Richard Baggé, counseling ministry coordinator for SIL in Africa, received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and did his residency in psychiatry at Duke University Medical School. Pat Miersma, an international counseling coordinator with SIL, received her M.N. as a Mental Health Nurse and Ethnic Clinical Specialist from U.C.L.A.

American Bible Society

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