Ginny Witte PhD

Ginny Witte, PhD

Trauma Informed Churches

Trauma Informed Churches


Trauma affects people of all walks of life; all ages, nationalities, abilities and gender. Being a trauma informed church means understanding how a person’s thinking, feeling, and behavior is affected by trauma. It means understanding that trauma can affect how individuals relate to God and to others. Being a trauma informed church also means creating a safe place where worshipers can fully come into the presence of God and engage in worship. 

In understanding trauma, you will be better equipped to meet the needs of your congregation, help individuals avoid the long-term effects of trauma, and provide a supportive place for people to heal and understand God’s love.

Children are especially vulnerable to trauma due to their age, development, and family situations. As a church, you want to be equipped to meet the needs of all children. Children in foster care, adopted children, or children who have suffered abuse or neglect need adults who understand their needs and their behavior. Young children often cannot articulate what they are feeling or experiencing. As a church we need to understand how their early experiences have shaped who they are, their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. You will also want to understand how to support parents and caregivers. It begins with awareness and understanding. 


Trauma informed church

Becoming trauma-informed

Trauma is prevalent in today’s world. The National Center for PTSD states that 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least one trauma in their lives. Many people will  experience multiple traumas, or ongoing trauma. As a church you will want to be  aware of: 

  • triggers of trauma 
  • ways to welcome people that create safety and connection 
  • reasons church attendees may not understand abstract experiences, such as God’s  love, peace, or to be able to fully engage in a worship experience  
  • how to create a place of safety and well-being 

Love your neighbor

This is what God has done for us, and what he expects us to do for others. To truly love another, we must understand where others are coming from. By understanding trauma we can be better equipped to meet the needs of others. By meeting their needs we can build a community that reflects God’s love and meets the needs of the congregation and the communities it serves.

I would love to come and talk with your church leaders or church family in a small group or large ministry settings.  

Church leaders – I can help you understand the signs and effects of trauma. I will also address the barriers trauma causes.

Love your neighbor verse

By being trauma informed you will be able to: 

  •  Provide the needed love and support to help others avoid the harmful effects of trauma.
  • Support healing. Trauma is best healed within loving and supportive relationships. The church can be a perfect place of healing. 
  • Reduce re-traumatization.  
  • Plan for and allocate resources and  ministries that meet the needs of the congregation and community. 
  • Help the church community learn ways that God uses each of us to help others  through tough times in the journey of life. 

Trauma Informed Churches