The research literature for helping adult survivors of traumatic events suggests that you and your therapist should consider a different treatment approach depending on whether you are coming to therapy to work through a single traumatic event that occurred one time versus multiple traumatic events in your past.
We review these on our web page for adults seeking therapy for abuse, combat or other forms of trauma. When engaging directly in trauma processing, we prefer the use of Cognitive Processing Therapy due to its substantial evidence based, its emphasis on correcting trauma-related cognitive errors, and the relatively less stressful nature of CPT compared to PE. In CPT, after learning some techniques to help you cope with the stress of talking about past trauma, your therapist will ask you to write out your narrative of what happened. Then, you will be asked to journal about the event repeatedly, and to take the journal into session for help in working through the trauma.
Dr. Walker has previously published treatment recommendations for integrating faith into therapy with adult survivors of trauma (Walker et al., 2009, Walker, et al, 2015). Your therapist will first assess ways in which your faith has been changed as a result of abuse. Then, we will tailor CPT to you, depending on how your faith has been impacted. If your faith has been exclusively damaged due to abuse, we will hold off discussing faith issues until later in therapy. Otherwise, we will adapt the CPT modules to explicitly address faith issues. Subsequently, some modules now incorporate spiritual interventions such as Scripture or prayer in them. In other modules, we incorporate discussion of religious issues, including explicitly addressing spiritual questions or spiritual struggles about the meaning of the abuse.