Trauma. Stress. Burnout. Grief.
It's ubiquitous in spiritual spaces.
the children's hospital chaplain who sits in silence with the family after a terrifying diagnosis
the pastor who lends an ear to the kid who can't come out to his parents because he fears what they'll say or do
the spiritual director who hosts a retreat and the women there share about their abuse and neglect
the soul healer who wonders if they should look for mental health care for a client that comes crying every session
the minister who feels barraged every time the council gets together, full of tension and conflict
the priest who struggles to find words for his own despair and burnout, wondering about her ability to continue doing this work
Sacred Spaces are Healing Spaces
yet we can feel helpless
Spiritual and ministerial training programs often omit providing skills training for their students. They often don't have the ability to provide psycho-spiritual support and education, which can leave spiritual care providers ill equipped and feeling overwhelmed when faced with the stresses of vocational life.
Spiritual care providers who feel helpless are more at risk for burnout and leaving ministry.
Modern life today requires that we are sensitive to the psycho-spiritual backgrounds of those we care for, if we are to provide compassionate and ethical listening care.
Trauma is not what happens to us.
It is what we hold inside us
in the absence of an empathic witness.
Training for Spiritual Directors, Soul Care Providers, Chaplains, Pastors, Counselors and others who offer sacred listening space
We are wired for resilience--but often in a world of despair and fear, we don't feel it. As spiritual care providers, we must nourish components in ourselves so we're better able to hold sacred space for others.
Welcome to this self-paced online course as we deep dive into the landscape of Trauma and Spiritual Care
This course is specifically to equip spiritual care providers and soul support professionals with the information, skills and guidance needed to hold space in a trauma conscious way.
Trauma Consciousness is Soul Consciousness
This is a self paced course with live support weekly that has educational components combined with integration and embodiment exercises. Circle sessions are optional but encouraged as it will assist in fully integrating the material.
Our 5 week exploration together will begin Sept 18, 2023.
You'll receive videos and handouts on the topic of the week on Mondays at 9aEST. These will be done at your own time and pace. This email will include topics that will be built upon each week and discussed in the optional Circle sessions.
Allie will host a weekly Circle Session for discussion and further exploration as we go over the week's theme and for students to ask questions about the material and how it relates to vocational call and work in spiritual wellness. Part practice, part peer support, part coaching. Attendance at Circle Sessions is encouraged to assist in learning.
We honor each other in our own unique paths and all faiths/no faiths welcome. This is about inclusivity, support, compassion and mutual growth.
After our time together, you will
--recognize the symptoms of trauma, whether they be in yourself, your clients, your parishioners, your community
--deepen into your own spiritual practices that are embodied and offer safety and belonging
--widen your understanding from trauma informed care to trauma conscious care
--connect with other spiritual caregivers and share and support each other
Join us for this 4 part training
Weekly Material Sent out for Self-Paced Study on Mondays
Weekly Circle Support Wednesdays and Fridays:
Week 1: Friday Sept 22 12-1p EST
Week 2: Wednesday Oct 4 12-1p EST
Week 3: Friday Oct 13 3-4pEST
Week 4: Wednesday Oct 18 12-1EST
BONUS Week 5: optional 1:1 30 min meeting with Allie
all Eastern Standard Time zone
Four weeks for exploration, each week guided both by general content and sharing on Fridays with each other. We honor our own stories that provide perspective and deeper understanding of concepts we'll discuss. Week by week curriculum is subject to change, however the content explored will remain the same.
Week 1: Defining Trauma in Spiritual Care
Trauma, Caregiving Fatigue, Secondary Stress, Burnout, PTSD--what does it all mean? We overview these terms and discuss how trauma manifests in spiritual spaces. We learn about our sensitive nervous systems, recognizing more clearly the ways we react and mirror others and how we can be better able to cope with our own activation.
Week 3: What Does Trauma Conscious Care Look Like for Me?
This week we explore the critical moment we have as spiritual caregivers in how to embody trauma consciousness into our practice. We explore the concept of human giver syndrome and the wounded healer archetype, and ways we can grow from places of challenge ourselves.
Week 2: Five Principles of Trauma Conscious Care
Model presented with the 5 Principles of trauma consciousness, and we examine ways to incorporate these into our practice as spiritual caregivers. We will discuss blocks to trauma consciousness and ways to understand holistically our journey as wounded healers ourselves. We explore embodied care through a lens of mindfulness and contemplative presence.
Week 4: Welcoming, Nourshing, and Ethics
This week we discuss the implications of all we've learned, how institutions and systems often preclude us to protect and establish healthy boundaries, and ways to provide ethical and healthy soul spaces. We also discuss when to refer to other mental health services and what to look for in ourselves for a sustainable ministry.
Each week you'll learn about trauma conscious care, and have an opportunity each Friday to engage and practice together and collaborate how to create safer, more compassionate communities and relationships.
You'll have an opportunity to practice listening care together through a mindful and contemplative posture and share embodiment practices to include with those you care for.
These Circle sessions won't be recorded, but the material you'll receive each week is yours to keep to review at your own pace.
Allie Kochert, MA, LPC, CSD
Gentle Guiding, Engaged Facilitation, Expert Knowledge
Allie Kochert (she/her) is a professional trauma therapist, certified spiritual director, and have decades of experience working with folx in all stages of the healing journey. She comes from personal experience and lived knowledge of what it means to do the inner work to reclaim resiliency in light of trauma, loss, grief and burnout. From core professional knowledge, skills, and experience, she moves through her work with humility, knowing that everyone's journey is different, as everyone's definition of trauma--and how that affects them and their spiritual wellness-- can be different.
Allie identifies as an able-bodied, privileged cis white woman and understands her personal and systemic privilege as well as the importance of healing from the inside-out. She dedicates her practices in offering safe spaces for professional spiritual caregivers (clergy, spiritual directors, ministers, and soul care providers) to reclaim their voice and be able to better hold space for others to do so.
Live Training Course
Work every week through the material, weekly support and integration sessions to incorporate the material into your work and vocation. You receive one on one attention and glean the wisdom of other heart-centered spiritual care providers also on the journey. This option is for the person who desires more support and collaboration with others in walking through the material.
Self Study Course
Walk through the material on your own, receiving access to a private FB group for questions that may arise and to connect with other spiritual care providers. While you won't have one on one access to Allie or the integration sessions, you will have access to Q and A and coaching support twice a year hosted on that FB group. This option is for the busy person who desires to walk through the material on their own and at their own pace.
What people say about the training:
I LOVED it! Very relevant for me and my work. All the work actually. I wish all spiritual care givers had trainings like this. --S.H.
It has created an enlightened sense of where and how folks can be "spiritually traumatized." And at the same time caused me to be further aware of signs and symptoms of burnout in myself, family, colleagues, and congregants. --M.C.
I have found it incredibly helpful. I'm very glad I did this. It's been helpful for my own spiritual health and for my ministry. --R.K.
[Taking the training] has created an enlightened sense of where and how folks can be "spiritually traumatized." And at the same time caused me to be further aware of signs and symptoms of burnout in myself, family, colleagues, and congregants. --M.C.
The training was informative, timely and an important part of my ministerial training and learning. --B.B.
I especially liked the model/web shared in Module 2, which helped me move away from the idea of needing to reach a certain amount of knowledge on a spectrum and gave a more balanced way to approach being aware. --S.S.
Her style was engaging, professional and very informative. the way Allie got people to interact was wonderful. Allie drew on the collective wisdom of the group.--K.B.
Excellent; you bring a level of integration of spiritual and psychological information that is beyond anything I have experienced previously. [Allie is] very welcoming, open, clear and positive without evasion of difficult questions or feedback.--A.M.
I feel more prepared to offer spiritual companionship to those dealing with trauma. --S.S.
In this course, we'll explore
"Our spiritual body is entirely connected
to the physical body.
Nervous System care
for Soul Care."
This course is for you if:
You are a spiritual caregiver, person in ministry, or caregiving professional or other supporter who holds space for others and desires more knowledge on trauma
You are a new--or seasoned--spiritual caregiver and are looking for skills to understand how trauma manifests and how to not cause re-traumatization
You are struggling with knowing how to cope with the stresses folks come to you with, especially as it relates to their spiritual care
You are noticing your own burnout and wonder how to move forward in your work in a sustainable way
You know a bit about trauma but want more experiential and embodied approach that incorporates psycho-spiritual health
You desire connection with other heart-centered helpers who value embodied, integrative and ethical spiritual care
While we see anger and violence in the streets of our country, the real battlefield is inside our bodies.
If we are to survive as a country it is inside our bodies where this conflict will need to be resolved.
This curriculum is for the heart-centered space holder who prioritizes ethical soul care.
With fuller knowledge of our nervous systems' effect on spiritual wellness, we are better able to serve without causing further harm.
We also have a chance to prevent re-traumatization and perpetuation of stigma, and build much more inclusive, compassionate and supportive communities and relationships.
This is not a mental health or support group, and does not replace mental health counseling or therapy. We will discuss situations that may elicit strong feelings or trigger some who have had experience with traumatic grief or stress. If you know there may be potentially triggering content in this course, contact Allie to discern if this course is right for you. If you or someone you know needs mental health care, reach out to Allie or to your healthcare provider for referrals.
Q & A
Q: I want to buy several for the group I'm a part of. Do I get a discount?
A: I'm open to sliding options for groups, please email me and I'd be happy to chat about your group's needs.
Q: I'm not sure I can make all of the sessions. Can I get a recording?
A: Though we encourage you to set aside the time to be with us, we understand emergencies happen. Friday sessions will be recorded to be distributed to the enrollees, with the honor system of not sharing the link publicly out of respect to the time and energy of course members and for the sensitive nature of what will be shared together.
Q: Is there a list of resources that I can get so I can do more exploration on this topic?
A: I will provide a very comprehensive list of resources, including books and other training programs that may elaborate on these issues that we'll discuss. While our time together will flesh out trauma in a psychospiritual framework, there are lots of excellent places to learn more.
I welcome any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org