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Spirituality of the Traumatized Child: A Call for Increased Faith Community Participation in the Trauma-Healing Process for Children

Abstract

One-third of all children worldwide experience trauma. This includes domestic violence, serious illness, physical or mental abuse, and death of a parent, among other traumatic experiences. Children who experience trauma are more likely to experience other mental health disorders and often reject the religious and spiritual institutions of their upbringing. While cognitive-based therapy and other traditional psychological methods are crucial to the care of these children, incorporating their spirituality can be a helpful adjunct for their healing. Further, religious communities can play a critical role in reintroducing healthy forms of relationship building and community attentiveness, while providing a safe environment for coping.

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Correspondence to Caitlin M. Westerfield.

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Westerfield, C.M., Doolittle, B.R. Spirituality of the Traumatized Child: A Call for Increased Faith Community Participation in the Trauma-Healing Process for Children. J Relig Health 61, 203–213 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-021-01416-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-021-01416-1

Keywords

  • Childhood trauma
  • Religion
  • Spirituality
  • Healing