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Religious Trauma & Deconstruction

It can be incredibly confusing and painful to navigate experiences of harm, abuse, and dissonance that occur in religious settings. For many people, religion is a framework that represents central life values such as purpose, hope, and goodness. When crisis is experienced in the setting that served as a cornerstone for life meaning, it can be incredibly disorienting. Navigating these experiences can cause immense grief and pain.  Adding to the already difficult journey of processing this, is often a feeling of loneliness and shame that often stems from the system values of community and loyalty.

Whether this is experienced as relational hurt in a faith community, abuse by trusted religious leaders, or as an internal process of deconstructing the meaning others have assigned to your religious beliefs against your own understanding, there is hope and space for sorting it all out.

My approach is aimed at providing culturally sensitive and respectful support as I guide you through processing your experiences. I am committed to making the therapeutic space a safe atmosphere. In this space you can share your expectations and fears and explore your experiences without feeling like you are offending me or fears about my own personal beliefs. This space is upheld by therapeutic ethics of neutrality and privacy and is respectful of your values and spiritual stance. I will you help you name your experiences, grieve the areas of hurt, build and reclaim purpose and value, and navigate healthy relationships and boundaries in your relationships with others, regardless of their religious differences.

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Church Hurt

A broad term used to describe any hurtful experience in the context of a institutional church. This term can describe a multitude of experiences.

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Faith Crisis / Deconstruction

The process of evaluating your own personal ethical integrity up to the views of your religious or cultural traditions and discovering areas of dissonance.

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Religious Trauma

Any experience of a religious belief, practice, or structure that undermines an individual’s sense of safety or autonomy and/or negatively impacts their physical, social, emotional, relational, or psychological well-being.”

5 Truths About Deconstructed Faith

  1. We don’t bring it on ourselves. It just happens.
  2. You aren’t failing at faith: you’re just expressing it.
  3. Deconstruction comes from within.
  4. Deconstruction is not sexy or trendy: it sucks.
  5. It does something positive for our faith that nothing else can do.

Pete Enns

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Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves liked locked rooms and like books that are written in a foreign tongue.

-Rainer Maria Rilke