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Survivor book
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SPIRITUAL DIRECTION

WITH SURVIVORS OF

SEXUAL TRAUMA

Did you know that one out of three women and one out of six men in the world will experience some form of sexual trauma in their lifetime?

 

Today, more survivors are stepping out and sharing their stories with family members, friends, clergy, or even you, as their spiritual director. Most people struggle with how to listen and deal with this sensitive topic.

 

You will learn practical information and tools on how to accompany a survivor of sexual trauma in spiritual direction. Topics include:

  • Manifestations of sexual trauma.

  • What to say and do and what not to say and do.

  • Cultural differences.

  • Open-ended questions for exploring.

  • Some spiritual practices that heal. 

  • Self-care for the director, bracketing, and supervision. 

  • Knowing when to refer.

Book Reviews:
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This Review Appears In:

PRESENCE

AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPIRITUAL DIRECTION + COMPANIONSHIP

Vol. 30 | No. 1 | MARCH – 2024

     This author employs an excellent methodology for spiritual direction, by exploring her own thoughts and experience in reaction to the questions she asks the spiritual directee and what they evoke in herself. This method brings out the complexity of the healing interaction between two people.

     She calls this method of self-supervision bracketing and it works like this: when we talk to a directee, we often have a silent, internal response which is inappropriate to share with the directee. So we bracket it for later. I have never heard it described this way, although I know exactly what she means. Despite not being a therapist herself, Richardson comes up with these unusual but highly effective methods of doing therapeutic work, which makes her ideally suited to the work of spiritual supervision as it happens in the lay context.

     The issues of self-care and self-compassion are well covered as critical issues for the wellbeing of the spiritual director. However, I’ve not found self-compassion addressed well in the literature on this subject. Richardson’s courage is commendable when she brings together all the aspects of sexual trauma in spiritual direction including a traditional model, as well as more recent understandings such as body awareness and self-compassion. All of these are extensively covered, and well-presented in this new book, despite their complexity.

     In Chapter Six, “Cultural Differences” provides an excellent analysis of the multifaceted area of mentoring across cultures which is such a critical skill in our diverse world today.

     Richardson’s rich use of examples, and input from relevant experts in the various fields of expertise, is a tool used throughout the book to provide deep and broad insights into the topic. She skillfully incises the distinction between the professional therapist and the lay person and explains where referrals to professional counsellors would be appropriate.

     Spiritual Direction with Survivors of Sexual Trauma will be an excellent primary reference for educating spiritual directors and companions. It is well researched, covering important aspects and it provides insights for learning in a detailed and methodical methodology.

 

Reviewer:  DR. ELAINE FOURIE is a retired psychologist, having spent many years in counseling and spiritual education. She is the author of A Postmodern Teresa of Avila: Lessons for Spiritual Transcendence Today and Peacemaking for Church Leaders: A Contemplative Approach. A contemplative and mystic, she spends her time reading and writing spiritual education programs, books, workshops, and retreats, and has an online presence. She lives on an Episcopalian Church Plant where she and her husband serve the Parish of Saint Thomas, in Durban, South Africa.

 

Additional Reviews:

Anne is a trained and experienced spiritual director, supervisor and a survivor who speaks from the heart about the transformation and healing that can occur for survivors of trauma. Readers will find her work professional, deep and practical, and gain understanding of the issues that will most likely show up in a direction session, such as shame, trust, and unhealthy images of God.

Cindy Mueller, MAHCM

Retired Coordinator

Art of Spiritual Direction Program

Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, California.

 

As a survivor of sexual trauma, I am forever changed walking with Anne as my spiritual director. Having a compassionate, empathetic, and listening ear has gently guided me to a deeper relationship with God.

                                                             Julie Herborn, survivor of sexual trauma.

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Not Alone

Transforming Trauma and

Accompanying Survivors

   Trauma can create an emotional wound that robs one of living more of the abundant life: love, joy, peace, courage, and internal freedom. If you or someone you love has experienced trauma, there is hope. You are not alone.

   This book is divided into two parts. In Part One, Anne shares her story along with true stories of other survivors with whom she has journeyed. Biblical stories that demonstrate God’s extravagant love are woven throughout the book. Various spiritual practices, which allow the slow, healing transformation of God, are included at the end of each chapter. 

    Part Two is written for priests, pastors, ministry leaders, family and friends who want to come alongside trauma survivors. With reports of abuse all over the news, more people are sharing their traumatic stories. Many have shared the hurtful things people have said and done, which unintentionally can deepen the pain. Anne gives insightful and practical tips for those who accompany trauma survivors on their healing journey.

Now on Sale!  Kindle $4.99  Paperback $10.99

Trauma book
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Not Alone

A Christ-centered recovery process for women who

have experienced physical, emotional or sexual trauma

 

As a spiritual director and leader of Not Alone groups, I have journeyed with many women who desire healing and deeper relationships with God.   Sadly, many women tell me they know in their heads that God loves them but deep down, they don’t really believe it in their hearts. This is especially true for those who have experienced trauma. However, I have witnessed women transform into the beautiful women God created them to be. Know that there is hope for you as well.

The Not Alone process will help you:

 

  • Know more fully in your heart and soul that you are deeply loved by God.

  • Understand how trauma has affected your relationship with God and yourself, which affects your relationship with others.

  • Gain insight into the manifestations of trauma such as: trust issues, shame, overreacting in anger, fear, worry, anxiety, addictions and broken relationships.

  • Gain wisdom from Biblical stories and testimonies from survivors of trauma.

  • Learn various spiritual practices and prayers that allow God’s healing transformation.

Not Alone is now available from Amazon here.

Now on Sale!  Paperback Workbook $14.99

Not Alone 1 book
Israel book
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Experiencing God's Love Through Israel

A Pictorial Devotional

  This book takes you on a unique journey through Israel with 60 days of Anne's personal photos and spiritual practices that encourage you to draw closer to God. Through heartwarming stories and engaging narrative, Anne lays out a beautifully convincing case of how lavishly God loves each one of us, personally. Woven through each devotion are spiritual practices that help you cultivate an intimate relationship with the Divine; one free of shame and full of hope. 

Available in Color Paperback, Black & White Paperback, and Kindle Editions from Amazon

Book Reviews

Not Alone: Transforming Trauma and Accompanying Survivors

“As the program manager for the Art of Spiritual Direction, a formation program for spiritual directors, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange and Loyola Marymount University in L.A., I read a lot of books on topics of spirituality and companioning others on their spiritual journey. It is not that often that I finish a book and think, “Wow, other spiritual directors really need to read this”!  This has been my experience with Anne Richardson’s, Not Alone: Transforming Trauma and Accompanying Survivors (2020).

Anne is a trained and experienced spiritual director, supervisor and also a survivor who speaks from the heart about the transformation and healing that can occur for survivors of trauma.  Readers will find her work both personal and professional, through the stories and the wisdom of science and life experience woven throughout. Both deep and practical, one will gain an understanding of the issues that will most likely show up in a direction session, such as shame, trust, and unhealthy images of God. Practically, she equips both director and directee with a “toolkit” which includes scripture, questions for reflection, exercises and suggested spiritual practices such as Visio Divina.

This important work has made it onto the Recommended Reading list for our students, it is that good!  In addition, we have added this important topic to our three-year curriculum and have invited Ms. Richardson to present a session for our third year students on how to artfully and skillfully companion survivors of trauma, ensuring that they are “not alone”.

   

Cindy Mueller, MAHCM

Program Coordinator, Art of Spiritual Direction Program

Center for Spiritual Development

 

Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange

434 A South Batavia Street, Orange, CA 92868-3998

T: (714) 744-3158      

cmueller@csjorange.org

The Southern Cross

THE OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF SAN DIEGO

Vol. 108 No. 8                        August 2019

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Book Reviews
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