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When Spirituality and Trauma Collide (ePUB)

A Guidebook for Practitioners of Soul Care

Author Karen Bartlett

SKU: 978-1-953495-80-8

Book - Digital

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A science- and Scripture-backed guide for navigating trauma in the sacred space of soul care. Combining best practices from neuroscience, theology, social work, and spiritual direction, When Spirituality and Trauma Collide will equip you with a basic understanding of trauma and how it impacts spiritual formation, so you can help others heal the wounds that keep them from connection with God.


No part of us is unaffected by trauma. Our mind, our body, and our spirit – especially our ability to experience God as loving and good – are wounded when we face pain, abuse, and suffering. Yet, as spiritual leaders, we are often unaware of the ways trauma impacts the spiritual life – and how many of our well-intentioned responses can actually be hurtful for someone who has experienced trauma.

Social worker and spiritual director Karen Bartlett has been there many times before. This led her to seminary to study theology and a master’s program to study neuroscience — all to better understand how trauma impacts our view of God.

When Spirituality and Trauma Collide brings together her learnings and breaks them down into a simple field guide that will equip you to respond to trauma in spiritual formation settings without inflicting harm.


  • How trauma works in the brain and body and how it can impact someone’s view of God
  • Attachment style, safety, and the stress response as it relates to the spiritual life
  • How to spot signs of dysregulation and discomfort during a session
  • Best practices for when to slow down, stop, ask permission, or use different language with someone
  • Permission to not always have all the answers and to instead guide someone into an experience with God

Walking alongside others on their spiritual journey is a sacred calling that requires care for the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. This guide will empower you to quickly understand the basics of trauma, so you can help others heal the wounds that keep them from connection with God.