Restoring the Shattered Self: A Christian Counselor's Guide to Complex Trauma, By Heather Davediuk Gingrich

Restoring the Shattered Self

A Christian Counselor's Guide to Complex Trauma

Christian Association for Psychological Studies Books

Second Edition

by Heather Davediuk Gingrich

Restoring the Shattered Self
  • Length: 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: March 03, 2020
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2866
  • ISBN: 9780830828661

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Nearly every professional counselor will encounter clients with a history of complex trauma. Yet many counselors are not adequately prepared to help those suffering from complex posttraumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), including survivors of child abuse, religious cult abuse, and domestic violence. A lack of consistent terminology in the field makes finding resources difficult, but without reliable training counselors risk inadvertently retraumatizing those they are trying to help.

In this second edition of Restoring the Shattered Self, Heather Davediuk Gingrich provides an essential resource for Christian counselors to help fill the gap between their training and the realities of trauma-related work. Drawing on over thirty years of experience with complex trauma survivors in the United States, Canada, and the Philippines, she ably integrates the established research on trauma therapy with insights from her own experience and an intimate understanding of the special concerns related to Christian counseling.

In addition to presenting a three-phase treatment model for C-PTSD based on Judith Herman's classic work, Gingrich addresses how to treat dissociative identity disorder clients, respond to survivors' spiritual issues, build resilience as a counselor in this taxing work, and empower churches to help in the healing process.

This new edition is updated throughout to match the DSM-5 and includes new content on how the body responds to trauma, techniques for helping clients stay within the optimal zone of nervous system arousal, and additional summary sidebars. With this thoughtful guide, counselors and pastors will be equipped to provide the long-term help that complex trauma survivors need to live more abundantly.

Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) Books explore how Christianity relates to mental health and behavioral sciences including psychology, counseling, social work, and marriage and family therapy in order to equip Christian clinicians to support the well-being of their clients.

"Trauma is no respecter of persons—not of age, gender, status, or spirituality. Dr. Heather Gingrich's new edition of Restoring the Shattered Self continues to be on the cutting edge in this emerging field. For counselors new to trauma work, the therapeutic examples and approaches based on Dr. Gingrich's extensive counseling experience provide thoughtful, professionally sound, and spiritually sensitive ways to work with complex trauma. This is a 'must read' for new counselors as well as seasoned counselors who can benefit from her seamless spiritual integration."

Kathie Erwin, associate professor, Regent University

"Save yourself a decade of frustration, pain, and hard work through the wisdom in Restoring the Shattered Self. I constantly meet counselors, pastors, prayer ministers, and leaders of healing programs who have no idea of the established and verified models for treating complex trauma. Caring people continue to 'reinvent the wheel' and prolong the recovery process for trauma, suffer as counselors, and fall short of the recovery that is possible because they do not know the solid body of knowledge that Dr. Gingrich organizes and teaches in Restoring the Shattered Self. Even experienced counselors should read this revised book. Let us be clear about what we know and know what we are doing."

Jim Wilder, neurotheologian and theoretician at Life Model Works (formerly Shepherd's House), author and international speaker on relational Christianity, trauma recovery, and character development in community

"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. Now helpfully updated in its second edition, this invaluable textbook needs to be read by every Christian counselor."

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

"Heather Davediuk Gingrich, a trauma specialist, has invested her professional lifetime searching out productive pathways for restoration following dense identity upheavals. Extraordinary brokenness finds its way into the ordinary practice of Christian mental health professionals. Thankfully, these pages offer wisdom from a clinical authority to guide us on the frontlines as we lead others back from the abyss."

Stephen P. Greggo, professor of counseling at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, author of Assessment for Counseling in Christian Perspective

"Restoring the Shattered Self is an excellent resource for both Christian and non-Christian counselors. It contains many useful techniques, wise cautions, and useful resources and provides a thoughtful overview of the literature. Non-Christian counselors can benefit from the author's clinical wisdom without having to adopt the explicitly Christian treatment techniques included in the book."

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

"Caring effectively for complex trauma survivors—those whose lives have been deeply shattered—requires a distinct set of resources and skills. Christian counselors need wise, competent guidance to bring their faith to bear on this issue. In Restoring the Shattered Self, anchored by years of experience, Heather Davediuk Gingrich provides a well-researched, accessible, and practical book that is honest about the challenges yet full of hope in the healing power of God and of well-informed Christian communities."

Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors

"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 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, founder and president of Mending the Soul ministries


List of Tables and Figures

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 Complex PTSD
9. Vicarious Traumatization and Building Counselor Resilience
10. How the Church Can Help

Appendix A: Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES-II)
Appendix B: Coping Mechanisms
Author Index
Subject Index


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Heather Davediuk Gingrich

Heather Davediuk Gingrich is professor of counseling at Denver Seminary and maintains a private practice working with complex trauma survivors. She is the coauthor of Skills for Effective Counseling and coeditor of Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling.