Pastoral Care for Trauma Survivors
The central space of a congregations and its leaders is called a 'sanctuary' for good reason: congregations are supposed to be safe places where survivors of trauma can heal. Congregations, however, often fail the survivors in their midst.
A key survivor mission that we, as war veteran ministers, have, is to turn our experience of war into something that benefits others, and this mission motivates our mission to promote Pastoral Care for Trauma Survivors, a core part of our outreach since our founding in 1989. While we recognize that trauma in our society goes far beyond war, we recognize the special expertise our own experience has given us, in the trauma of war. Listed below are the approaches we have taken to meet this need:
- Spiritual Healing Retreats for Combat Veterans with PTSD and their spouses. We most recently provided such a retreat at the invitation of the Canadian Forces to 20 recent veterans of Afghanistan.
- "Risking Connection for Fatih Communities: A Training Curriculum for Faith Leaders Supporting Trauma Survivors was written by a team from ICWVM and the Sidran Institute and published in February 2006. Sidran offers training for faith leaders based on the text.
- Our Clergy and Congregation Trauma Training Project expresses our desire to share our expereience with other clergy. Activities of this project have included:
- 2002: A two-semester hour graduate level course, "Pastoral Care for Trauma Survivors" was taught at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington using a draft of the Risking Connection curriculum
- 2006: An orientation to the new curriculum was given by one of the co-authors, Elizabeth Vermilyea, at the October 2006 ICWVM Annual Meeting at Menlo Park, California.
- 2008: A workshop entitled "Families and the Spiritual Wounds of War" was presented at the Congregational Health Ministries Conference of the United Methodist Church, at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. The workshop will be repeated at the 2008 ICWVN Annual Meeting in Metairie, Louisiana.
- 2011: A workshop on entitled "Mental Health and Spiritual Wounds" was presented at the Centre for Theology and Ministry in Melbourne, Australia.
- ICWVM member efforts includes a host of activities that have emerged in the areas our members work in response to specific needs. One is availability of ICWVM members to talk or correspond with veterans who seek them out. Another is articles, presentations and workshops on trauma. These include an article by Margie Nelson-Pechota, Ph. D., Spirituality and PTSD in Vietnam Combat Veterans, reflecting her research with Vietnam combat veterans while completing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. This is one of several articles on Spirituality and Trauma.
- Congregation and Trauma Resource Links. As we use the internet, we have come across a number of sites helping congregations link with war veterans and other trauma survivors. In addition, we have identified a number of internet links specifically to PTSD.
About Us |
Events and Projects |
Spiritual Healing for Veterans|
Pastoral Care for Trauma Survivors
Support for Chaplains|
World Veteran Outreach |
Peace and Justice Statements
Sign Guestbook |
Pastoral Care for Trauma Survivors Section Directory:
Spiritual Healing Retreats |
Clergy Trauma Training Project |
Spirituality and PTSD |
ICWVM-Member PCTS Efforts
Proposed Workshop on Suffering. |
Articles on Spirituality and Trauma. |
Congregation and Trauma Resource Links |
©1999-2008 International Conference of War Veteran Ministers, founded in 1989 as the National Conference of Viet Nam Veteran Ministers. All Rights Reserved. The International Conference of War Veteran Ministers and National Conference of Viet Nam Veteran Ministers are registered trademarks. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ICWVM is funded by membership dues, donations, and major grants from organizations believing in our work. Contact information for officers and webmaster on separate page. This page last updated June 14, 2012