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Restoring the Shattered Self

A Christian Counselor's Guide to Complex Trauma

Christian Association for Psychological Studies Books

by Heather Davediuk Gingrich

Restoring the Shattered Self
  • Formats: epub, pdf, and mobi
  • Published: March 06, 2013
  •  In stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-8426-1
  • Item Code: 8426

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.

"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."

Steven Tracy, professor of theology and ethics at Phoenix Seminary and author of Mending the Soul

"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."

Carrie Doehring, associate professor of pastoral care, Iliff School of Theology, Denver

"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."

Colin Ross, founder and president of the Colin A. Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma

"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."

Diane Langberg, clinical faculty, Biblical Seminary, and chair of the executive board of the American Association of Christian Counselors

"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."

Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, 69(1)


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)
List of Tables
List of Figures

Heather Davediuk Gingrich

Heather Davediuk Gingrich is a counselor, scholar, teacher, and former missionary. She is professor of counseling at Denver Seminary and maintains a small private practice working with complex trauma survivors. She is the author of Restoring the Shattered Self and coauthor of Skills for Effective Counseling.

She began counseling over twenty-five years ago in Canada, and continued in the Philippines where she counseled, taught, and completed her doctoral studies on complex trauma. She continues her international involvements with the Institute for International Care and Counsel at Belhaven University, as well as adjunct teaching at the Asia Graduate School of Theology in the Philippines and seminaries in Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Singapore. She also conducts mental health assessments for missionary candidates.

Gingrich is a member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), the Trauma Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Her scholarly work focuses on understanding and working with those who have histories of child abuse and other forms of relational trauma, particularly as they relate to issues of Christian faith and spirituality. She and her husband Fred have two young adult sons and are raising their grandson.

BY Heather Davediuk Gingrich

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