Blog Post from Victoria Gutbrod

Trauma Talk

Theological Wisdom & Trauma-Informed Approaches to Wholeness

As we begin to navigate the back end of the pandemic, the timing of launching The Trauma Center at Emerge has proven to be providential. While the world re-opens and re-enters daily life, we are just beginning to recognize the long-term impact of Covid-19 on our mental and emotional well-being.

The Trauma Center at Emerge is dedicated to reawakening the mind, body, and soul of survivors with biblically-based theological wisdom and trauma-informed approaches to wholeness. We utilize research-supported treatment techniques that incorporate neurobiological approaches when coming alongside survivors in their quest for healing.

Jesus is no stranger to the impact of trauma on a mind, body, and soul. He faced the cross with dignity and mercy, so that all those who suffer from the harms inflicted in this world could find a place of rest and freedom. He transcended and overcame death so our physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds would not leave us desolate in this world. The Trauma Center at Emerge honors the integration of Jesus’ love for the traumatized and the latest clinically-advanced approaches.

In episode two of this season’s ExEm podcast, Matt Knabe discusses the anxiety and fear he faced as he went from being sheltered in at home, to his first face-to-face meeting in nearly one year. He was vulnerable in sharing the push-pull he experienced with how to engage safely with others. Matt and I explored how the disciples found themselves in a similar situation. They were gathered in the upper room, hidden in fear and unsure of what to do next. They were overcome with grief and the loss of the world that they had come to know walking alongside Jesus. We have always known that on the other side of the cross, was the empty tomb. They had yet to discover this — to them, the cross appeared to be the end of their journey with Christ. They must have been confused, afraid, and uncertain of what to do next. When Christ appeared to them, it was a very private exchange of intimacy, healing, and empowerment to move the truth of his resurrection forward. The very first thing he said to his beloved disciples was “peace be with you.” (Luke 24:36)

Jesus spent time with the disciples. Then, when he left them, he allowed more time for them to gather strength and fortitude before they came forward on Pentecost. Coming forward and walking in truth in this season of Covid-19 will look differently for many individuals. We need to walk forward with the same internal peace, compassion, and intentionality that the disciples showed when leaving the safety of the upper room. This global event activated trauma wounds in many of us, and in ways that we cannot fully comprehend yet. It’s important that we take time to gather our strength, be mindful of what we each individually need, as well as show compassion for others in our families and communities.

The dedicated team of trauma-informed therapists and team members at Emerge are walking in this journey alongside those who we serve in our ministry. In the months to come, The Trauma Center will provide more resources and information for encouraging your trauma-informed approach to peace and wholeness.

The peace that Christ shared with his disciples comes from the word shalom. It is the universal well-being that had been longed for throughout the Old Testament. It is the serenity that was experienced in Eden, and is known when one is participating in the very life of God.

Victoria A. Gutbrod, MA, LPCC-S

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Director of the Trauma Center

While serving as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and the Director of the Trauma Center at Emerge, Victoria brings over 20 years of experience as a therapist with a key focus of creating a trauma-informed culture. She is EMDR certified, and has trained under trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk and Judy Mooltin of BodyMind Institute in Sensori-Motor Therapy.

Victoria holds a B.A. in Psychology from Ohio Dominion University and a M.A. in Clinical Pastoral Counseling from Ashland University & Theological Seminary. Serving all ages of individuals, couples, and families, some of her clinicial interests include EMDR, Sensori-Motor Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression and Anxiety Disorders, and many more.