The call started out as a networking conversation. My business partner/best friend and I were chatting with a colleague about ways to help his fledgling media venture.
But within minutes, the conversation turned to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This young man’s father-in-law had recently returned from a war-torn nation where his life and the lives of those he loved had been threatened and ravaged. He was having flashbacks, was unable to sleep or focus on daily tasks, was experiencing symptoms that mimicked heart attacks, and was showing other signs of PTSD.
But, unfortunately, he was reluctant to seek trauma treatment. His beliefs as a Christian made him skeptical about “secular” psychology.
I understand his hesitation. I was brought up in a home where I was taught to regard the Bible as the final authority on all things. And I still believe the Bible to be the final word on all matters in life.
But I also believe that all healing and all truth are from God. I don’t believe in “Christian and secular” aspirin, “Christian and secular” surgeries, “Christian and secular” music, or “Christian and secular” anything. All truth belongs to God. All healing comes from God. And if I’m looking for a surgeon, I’m going to look for the best one I can find. If I’m going to look for a therapist or counselor, I’m going to look for the best one I can find. That will mean the individual I choose works within the parameters of my Christian worldview. But that goal can be accomplished with either a Christian therapist or someone who does not share my faith. No matter who I choose, I must always be discriminating.
When it comes to the brain, Christians often are reluctant to admit that the physical, chemical process that apply to our liver, kidneys, spleens, and hearts don’t stop at our necks. Those processes play a major role in trauma, mental illness, and the critical practices of psychology and psychiatry.
After completing dozens of treatment efforts in some of the best Christian and “secular” counseling, residential, out-patient, and inpatient programs in the nation, a dear friend of mine finally found successful treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at Intensive Trauma Therapy in West Virginia. The treatment changed her life in profound ways and gave her the healing she’d prayed for for decades. Other people I know have found tremendous help, as well, from therapy based on the Instinctual Trauma Response Model.
Trauma therapy confronts lies with truth. It tears down walls of deception that bind victims to the past. And it does so by utilizing God-given biological and chemical processes. Thank God for new breakthroughs in trauma therapy that can bring healing to those who often suffer for decades treating symptoms, rather than root causes.
My prayer is that Christians begin to recognize the growing epidemic of trauma victims in their families, churches, workplaces, and communities and embrace the healing that’s offered through trauma treatment: healing that comes–like all healing–from the hand of God.