While research shows that being a part of a faith-based community increases emotional and even physical health, church members are neither exempt nor automatically healed from the impact of childhood and adult adversity. I have written an new book, Break EVERY Stinking Chain! Healing For Hidden Wounds, available on Amazon.com which discusses ACE in detail and integrates Christian scripture and faith as a means of recovery. It is currently available as an ebook and in paperback. I have been teaching it in my church, and others have been using it in a residential addiction center, and a domestic violence group. We have seen some great results and we are currently compiling outcomes to publish some research on the effects of this intervention. In addition, I am developing a workbook for students and a PowerPoint for teachers.
In the book, I have included stories of my own traumatic experiences, as well as giving details on a model I've been developing to work with trauma survivors, Strategic Trauma and Abuse Recovery©. I adopted the three-phase approach, which Judith Herman recommends from her research. I have broken those phases down into 12 stages providing a systematic experience for both caregivers and survivors. It is faith integrated, focusing on feeding your faith in phase 1 of recovery in order to get through phase 2 and 3.
I'm excited about making an impact and sharing more solutions to the pain that ACEs cause. One class participant wrote the following recommendation,
"I have the privilege of attending Dr. Colson’s ------ class and of hearing her teach as well as studying her book and workbook. I’ve experienced first-hand her warmth, humbleness and compassion as well as her passion for leading others to Christ. I believe these God-given strengths are prominently displayed in this book and in her following materials.
When I first attended Dr. Colson’s ---------- class, I was curious…but terrified. Desperate. To be honest, every time I attend Dr. Colson’s class I still am terrified. But no longer desperate, and certainly not alone. I am learning courage because Dr. Colson has showed me so many truths from God’s Word and shown light on so many long-believed lies…
Two questions I asked myself while reading this book: How can I have compassion for others when I am chained to my own grief? How can I have passion for God when I can’t see past my own pain? I cannot. (Matt 7:3)
Dr. Colson writes: “ [this book] attempts to initiate, support and bring some organization to that healing conversation.” For the first time in ten years of marriage, and almost thirty years of silence, I have begun to initiate conversations with my husband, family, friends and most importantly with God-about the trauma that has occurred in my life. My faith has begun to build slowly and I have learned the value of starting simply, which Dr. Colson so aptly teaches. As my faith grows, so does my hope.
My hope to you, dear reader, is that you will experience the same."
My hope is that this book will contribute to the growing body of work so desperately needed to assist survivors in recovery from ACE. I also hope to provide caregivers more tools for encouraging their clients or parishioners in their journey of healing.
Denice Colson, PhD, LPC, MAC, CPCS, CCS