Chapter 5: Four More Consequences of Church Trauma

Chapter 4 discussed four common effects of Church Trauma: cognitive dissonance, church exodus, dissociation, and abuser loyalty. This chapter addresses four more consequences of Church Trauma: loss of identity, mental disorder, family dysfunction, and shame. Loss of Identity  Trauma messes with concept of self.  After one is traumatized by the Church, victims often have no idea who they are anymore.  The Mormon Church is not just a religion; it’s a lifestyle.  Hence traumatization can cause a complete upheaval to a person’s construction of reality, including the self, other people, life, and the future.  Few can appreciate the sheer terror religious Read More

Chapter 1: Understanding and Managing Church Trauma—Finding Help and Healing for Mormons

Following is my master’s thesis on church trauma. I will post it in sections. This article will include all of my thesis’s chapter one but because chapter two is so long and comprehensive, it will be published in smaller parts (the whole thesis is 112 pages). For easier reading and clarity, I will label each section a new chapter. Because it is a thesis, it is quite formal in nature, which I hope will be appreciated. I will plan on posting a new section weekly. May you enjoy and find value in this series. Chapter One Introduction Church trauma is Read More

Church Trauma Is BAD–But It’s Not ALL BAD!

I was sitting in Relief Society (a women’s meeting in the Mormon Church) almost a year ago listening to a discussion on fellowship.  It was all very encouraging and good.  And yet, I could not fully buy into what I was hearing as they spoke of their overwhelming success.  I wanted to—and I did to a point because I am aware of good that is happening in the Church.  But in the same breath, I knew it was a little off to think that all is well in Zion and that everyone was as happy and thriving as well as seemed Read More

What Are The Roots Of Mormon Trauma?

SHHHHH! I want to share a secret with you. I already wrote this article. I’ve been writing this article on Mormon Trauma for a few weeks now actually. And I have struggled with it. Originally, I wrote this article with the intention that I did not want to alienate anyone because church trauma within the LDS faith is not widely known. I did not want to be deemed an anti-Mormon or apostate because of what I wrote. I did not want to be called a sensationalist. I didn’t want to hear that I was too angry or hateful. I wanted Read More

The Church-Trauma Tree

Let me introduce myself. Maybe you know me. I’m Danna Hartline.   I am the founder and creator of the Mormon Trauma Mama—this website right here—which focuses on church trauma and healing. If you are a follower, I hope you’ve found it helpful.  I have an incredibly talented team that works with me—maybe you’ve noticed! My team and I also run a Facebook group called LDS Church Trauma and Healing.  As a team, we are also organizing an invitation-only summit this fall called When Church Hurts.  We are bringing together some of the top minds in this movement to collaborate and support Read More

How Can the LDS Church Become a Hospital to the Traumatized?

By Danna Hartline “It’s not that I’m inactive or don’t believe, I just have a hard time going to a ward that treats my family and I like we don’t belong.” “Before my divorce, I felt like I belonged and felt very content with my church experience. But after divorcing, it was very hard to find my place.” “I always felt shamed and flawed. I felt like others were happy with church but I couldn’t be me there.  I tried so hard to be perfect to achieve the same experiences of others.”  These comments are not unusual for people suffering from Read More

When Trauma Comes from Father Figures or Forced Termination

In my ADAM Conference presentation, I referred to an article on PTSD. Here is the excerpt from that article, which was actually my own writing.  The full article is attached below. When Trauma Is Inflicted by Father Figures. When trauma is intentional, it is a blow to the whole psychological system. Victims of unintentional trauma (natural disaster) show a much greater likelihood of experiencing a decrease in symptoms over time whereas those who are victims of intentional trauma (something inflicted on purpose) tend to show an increase in symptoms over time (Brew, 2017).  One of those great trauma-imposers seems to Read More

Do You Have Post Traumatic Church Syndrome?

 Do You Have Post Traumatic Church Syndrome/ Is church a hard place for you?  Do you struggle to get there every week?  Then maybe you have post traumatic church syndrome.  If you have confusion of what that even is, this article is a great place to start.  It draws awareness to something many want to scoff at and deny.  It’s hard to admit that church can be a place that actually hurts more than it helps.  I think the word “Christian” in this article can easily be switched to “Mormon.”  I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also to learn more Read More