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Church Trauma Therapy

Church Trauma Therapy

Whilst it is in some of our natures to help people, who are suffering from church trauma we have to be mindful of the things we may say.

Potentially unhelpful things to say right after someone shares something vulnerable with you

“Oh. it’ll be fine!”
“But you seem fine!”
“Well, when I went through that…”
“Well, have you tried_______?”
“It could be worse”
“Oh no, don’t cry!”
“But you’re so strong!”
“Out of all the people I know, you can handle this”
” God won’t give you more than you can handle”


church trauma therapy


Spiritual abuse can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The traumatised brain that has PTSD doesnt switch off. This can mean that as we sleep- the brain is dealing with the trauma. Church trauma therapy takes into account all behavioural factors from forced conversion as a child to a persons bias due to long held beliefs and traditions which have been used by religious institutions to manipulate and control their members.


A person who requires therapy after leaving the church is often plagued by doctrines eg. the rapture, hell, heaven, forced proselytizing, demons, angels, purity and world destruction. Simply promising people that God will never give you more than you can handle is not enough. Exposure to church doctrines over long periods of time can be overwhelming and very stressful.

What are the signs to look for that point to a toxic church environment?

  • Being forced to preach door to door for your salvation.
  • Never being allowed to have an opinion.
  • Forced tithes. Paying 10% of your salary to the church.
  • Acceptance of church doctrine before you are accepted by the church.
  • Verbal abuse never feeling good enough and being told to repent.
  • Protection of sexual abuse perpetrators and blaming the victims.
  • Branding members as apostates for simply speaking the truth.
  • Shunning and ex-communicating members.

Most people who have been exposed to a toxic church will adopt atheism as retaliation against the church or a person in the church that hurt them. They often put on a brave face and continue with life as if they are uneffected by their traumatic experiences. Sadly this is not the right approach. Burying ones head in the sand is only temporary. Eventually you have to come up for air. This is when reality bites and without the proper counseling it can be hugely damaging to a persons self esteem and the persons relationships at work, in social circles and in their marriage.

If you have experienced trauma through your church or a religious person and you would like to chat about it safely please reach out to me by clicking on the image below:

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