Chapter 6: Accepting the Reality of Trauma and Researched-Based Treatments

In chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, we explored the harmful causes and effects of church trauma. Now we will discuss how to heal and find meaningful beauty and rebirth post trauma. Accepting the Reality of Trauma With so much pain to deal with in regards to church trauma, it often feels very overwhelming and discouraging as victims try to begin piecing their lives together again.  It can seem nearly impossible to make sense of it all.  Yet, if there is one essential truth that must be grasped in overcoming trauma, it is that in order to heal, one Read More

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 3: Five More Causes of Trauma in the Mormon Church

Chapter 2 addressed three causal factors of trauma in the Mormon Church: Unsustainable History, Church Doctrine, and Unsafe Policies. This chapter addresses five more: Patriarchal Structure, Organizational Behavior, Cultural Behavior, Unrighteous Dominion, and Discrimination. Like Chapter 2, the discussion is just an overview and is not comprehensive. Further, not all causal factors of trauma are addressed in my thesis, as there are potentially several but I tried to hit on some of the main factors. If you have not yet read Chapter 2 or Chapter 1, it might be beneficial before or after reading this chapter. Pictured below is the 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

Waves of Grief

A few months ago, I shared a story of a tragic suicide.  Sadly, as preoccupied and short-sighted humans, we often momentarily mourn over the loss of a passing associate but then maybe forget about those who are left behind and the long-lasting effect the death–and the causes of it–has on them.  Below is a follow-up on the dear mother of the deceased: Christine Burton. She offers some important insights of one who has been left to suffer mostly alone:  “It has now been six months since my son Michael’s tragic and untimely death. What has transpired during this time frame, has Read More

Mormonism Is Good; Mormonism Is Bad

I was talking to a friend from South Sudan a few days ago about the Church. She was baptized in 2014 but stopped attending in 2017. She said something interesting to me: “I see why you left the Church and I see the problems you present. They are real and valid. You have outgrown it and you are wise to have moved on. You have healed since you’ve left. But Danna, the Church is also good. It helps people like me in a way most religions don’t. If I need help, they come; they want to come. They want to Read More

The Pendulum Swing of Trauma–And How It Pertains to Religion

I have a very dear friend that I’ve known since college who is in an extremely hard situation. After being married to her husband for over two decades, she finally gained the courage to leave him. Over the course of many years, he locked her in closets, drugged her, convinced her she was masturbating in her sleep and tied her wrists to the bed, beat her, choked her until she passed out, dragged her by the hair out of the shower and across rooms, manipulated all of the people around him—including their children—to believe his every word, etc. He even had his church leaders 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

Is the LDS Church Increasing Its Appeal for Sexual Predators?

I have to say it: I really wonder about the direction the Mormon Church is moving.  It just feels the Church is regressing.   Two red flags have been raised recently: One is the disheartening excommunication of Sam Young in his effort to change policy about one-on-one interviews and the sexually explicit questioning of our youth.   That alone is enough but I see another connection to Sam Young’s movement to protect LDS Children, which brings me to concern number two: the Church’s withdrawal in the Scouting program (which had interesting timing—two weeks after the BSA announced they would no longer discriminate against women, the Read More

Church Trauma Is More Common than You Might Realize

Last month the Mormon Trauma Mama team hosted an invitation-only summit called When Church Hurts to talk about the problems we are seeing with church trauma and how we can promote awareness, healing, and change.  We are still working on solutions to this problem—and will be for many years to come!  But at the summit, I introduced a man who had a similar dilemma.  Maybe you have heard about him.  His name is Ignaz Semmelweis. Semmelweis was a fascinating man.  He was a European doctor, an obstetrician, in the mid-1800s.  He worked at Vienna’s General Hospital, an important research hospital, Read More