Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 1 (Winter 2015) - Page 65

VOLUME 11, NUMBER 1 A JOURNAL FOR THE THEOLOGY OF CULTURE Encouraging Expression According to Herman, the “testimony”61 of trauma recalled must include “traumatic imagery and bodily sensations . . . [and] the accompanying emotions.”62 Paul A. Baglyos, who writes for rural church ministers, arrives at a very similar conclusion: “Suffering that cannot be named, cannot be spoken, cannot be told, can neither be healed nor redressed.”63 Likewise, Peterson’s pastoral reflection on Lamentations calls for direct, thorough expression: “the desire to whitewash, to avoid, to euphemize—all these are rejected.”64 In close correspondence with all the above perspectives, Smith, in her study of Christian ritual, writes that “expressing lament with all its feelings can be the first step in healing: the core outcry from an unspeakable pain.”65 Christian therapist Diane Strong Nesheim agrees, prescribing expression that is not unlike the forthright biting words of biblical lament: “[A] necessary component to resolving the trauma of the assault is through an articulation of rage, anger and hatred at being used, at the powerlessness of their position. . . . Feelings must be accepted as they are exhibited and allowed to run their natural course.”66 Providing Social Support and Safety Briere and Scott highlight the importance of social support for trauma recovery: [R]elationships provide not only the context for a huge amount of violence in our world, but also the essential environment in which the effects of violence can be addressed. Healing relationships need not always involve psychotherapy; many people recover from trauma exposure without seeking professional assistance, instead processing 61. Herman, Trauma and Recovery, 181. 62. Ibid., 177. 63. Baglyos, “Lament in the Liturgy,” 257. 64. Peterson, Five Smooth Stones, 119. 65. Smith, Caring Liturgies, 97. 66. Diane Strong Nesheim, “Sexual Abuse Survivors in the Church,” in Healing the Hurting: Giving Hope and Help to Abused Women, ed. Catherine Clark Kroeger and James R. Beck (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1998), 142. 64