Why Spiritual Care for Trauma is Critical
Much like an earthquake has aftershocks, traumatic experiences have an afterlife ― one that can last much longer than the moment itself. From the outside, someone can seem fine, even when hurt and grief are cracked open just below the surface.
Understanding how to provide spiritual care in the afterlife of a traumatic experience is complicated, but it is possible. That work starts here.
In Spiritual Care for Trauma, you’ll discover accessible ways of providing spiritual care over the continuum of healing, including:
- A deeper understanding of the pervasive nature of trauma
- Increased confidence from having the right tools and practices
- Techniques for self-care and appropriate boundary setting
- The ability to differentiate between one-time, ongoing, and accumulating trauma
- Knowledge of what the afterlife of traumatic experiences may look like in spiritual care encounters
- …and so much more!
Trauma breaks connection…
There are people in your congregation carrying unseen weights. Maybe they’re still haunted by trauma suffered early in life, or it might be happening right now. In either situation, those experiences can break the connection with others, themselves, and God.
Healing is possible, and spiritual care can play an important role in helping people find a way forward. Spiritual Care for Trauma is an opportunity to help others, to learn how to care for yourself in the process, and to connect to God in a powerful and much-needed way. The unseen weights are real, but so is the chance to be set free.
Author and Freelance Theologian
Jennifer Ohman-Rodriguez recently graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota with a Master of Divinity degree. During the height of the pandemic, she served as Vicar and sole pastoral presence to the congregation of St. Andrew Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Currently, Ohman-Rodriguez is in the first call process in Word and Sacrament ministry in the ELCA.
Jennifer Ohman-Rodriguez’s extensive work in faith formation curricula, devotions, and worship resources is published by Augsburg Fortress, Sparkhouse, and Westminster John Knox Press in the resources of Fed and Forgiven, Sundays and Seasons, Christ in our Home, Spark, Whirl, Frolic, Feasting on the Word Curriculum, in leader sourcebooks accompanying the work the Dan Erlander, and used as prayers in the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
Since 2016, much of Ohman-Rodriguez’s writing focuses on the intersection between faith, traumatic experiences, and trauma recovery. Her first book, A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance: A Love Story of Grief, Trauma, Healing, and Faith, was published by Chalice Press. Her magazine articles and essays appear in Bearings Online, Gather, The Christian Century, Young Children, Young Children and the Creative Arts, QC Family Focus, The Lutheran, The Lutheran Digest, Zoay, Books Make a Difference, The Living Lutheran, Faith+Lead as well as The Little Lutheran and The Little Christian. Ohman-Rodriguez also curates the Trauma Recovery Page at Compassionate Christianity and is a frequent speaker and workshop presenter.
Prior to ministry, Ohman-Rodriguez worked in the early care and education field for twenty years. In 1993 she earned a Master of Education degree from the Erikson Institute for Advanced Studies in Child Development in Chicago, Illinois. During her career she taught in a variety of settings including childcare, traditional preschool, Head Start, and at the college level. She also directed a preschool program, worked as a teacher trainer, and developed an inclusive arts program for preschool-age children in Wisconsin. She is the co-creator and served as the first coordinator of Quality through Accreditation, an early care and education quality enhancement program based in the Illinois and Iowa Quad Cities. Along with two other professionals she presented ideas for raising early care and education quality at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference (NAEYC) in 2007.
Before becoming an educator, Ohman-Rodriguez was a professionally trained musician with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.