Do’s and Don’ts in Survivor Ministry

 

Effective Pastoral Care for Adult Survivors of Abuse or Trauma

Copyright © T. Pitt Green 2014. Reprinted by Permission.

Don’t talk. Listen.
Don’t know. Learn.
Don’t defend. Acknowledge guilt of abusers and enablers.
Don’t minimize. Recognize the burden.
Don’t intellectualize. Permit strong feelings.
Don’t launch a pep talk. Know if it were possible, we’d be over it already.
Don’t be impatient. Remember healing is on God’s timing.
Don’t be directive. Follow our lead. Help us follow God.
Don’t be linear. Appreciate healing as circular, repetitive.
Don’t wing it. Prepare and be knowledgeable.
Don’t be goal-oriented. Be God-oriented. His Presence is enough.
Don’t judge or shame. Offer radical respect for a humiliated person.
Don’t talk to a diagnosis. Talk to us about the diagnosis.
Don’t own. Respect boundaries on our feelings and story.
Don’t fix. Encourage.
Don’t fuel a focus on past. Care for need here, now.
Don’t push. Accept healing as a process.
Don’t expect efficiency. Simplify, repeat, confirm, repeat.
Don’t expect reliability. Expect no-shows, late arrivals.
Don’t personalize. Depersonalize anger and reactions.
Don’t assume responsibility. Set firm boundaries softly.
Don’t analyze. Affirm mystery and grace in this life.
Don’t shift into therapy. Know how to refer for professional help.
Don’t be manipulated. Live the boundaries you set.
Don’t feel responsible. Let the Holy Spirit do the heavy lifting.

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