Church Mental Health Summit

86: Trauma in the Pews: The Impact on Faith and Spiritual Practices with Janyne McConnaughey

Trauma can have a profound impact on a person's spiritual and emotional well-being. The church can provide a safe space for people to process their trauma and receive support from others who share their faith.

However most times, leaders in church ain’t aware of how to deal with people who have undergone trauma which is almost everyone coming to church.

So how does the church create a safe space to work with people towards their trauma and grow them to mentally healthy individuals? 

In this episode, I speak with Janyne McConnaughey, Ph.D., nationally known trauma-informed author and advocate on how educators, caregivers, and church ministry leaders understand and apply trauma-informed practices. 


We highlight:

  • Her journey through trauma and how she was able to use it to positively impact others
  • The signs and symptoms of trauma
  • How the church can offer a safe ground for trauma discussions
  • The complexities of trauma and how it doesn’t only stem from one aspect



  • “Trauma is not one of those easy things that you can put in a box or compartmentalize.”
  • “Trauma is sticky.”
  • “Trauma is not the event, but  what comes after the event.”
  • “The church is uniquely designed in such a way that it can meet a need like no other organization or community can.”
  • “There is no fixing when someone shares their story.”


Episode Resources