Thursday, February 26, 2009

lessons for the church in PTSD?

PTSD symptoms are considered to be the result of "exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor involving direct personal experience of an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury, or other threat to one's physical integrity; or witnessing an event that involves death, injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of another person; or learning about unexpected or violent death, serious harm, or threat of death or injury experienced by a family member or other close associate (Criterion A1)." (DSM-IV)

Albert Glass, who wrote on psychotherapy after WWII and during the Korean War, noted that the cohesiveness and integrity of the relationships within each unit, or the lack thereof, affected the outcomes of PTSD in individual soldiers.

I've personally noted how personal ambivalence about actions, choices and outcomes seems to contribute to the level of stress which presents in PTSD sufferers.

Given that "church" is the Body of Christ in many members, what happens when we fail to exhibit unity and integrity in our midst -- not a hypocritical unity of "law" or an agenda, but the unity within diversity that only the Holy Spirit can empower? Whom do we harm?

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