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614 | Combining Faith and Evidence-based Interventions for Christian Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Counseling Skills, Techniques, and Empirically-supported Treatments, Saturday 9/16 8:45 – 10:00 AM, Workshop Tracks


Ada Uzondu, M.A,; Kristina Nelson, Ph.D.; Laura Heil, M.S; Joely Diaczenko, M.S.



Approved For CE

Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU




Sexual assault is a pervasive and traumatic experience that affects over half of the female population and at least one-third of the male population at some point in their lives (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022). Often, regardless of the period in which this trauma occurs, survivors’ mental and physical health is negatively affected (MacGinley et al., 2019; Carey et al., 2018; Norris et al., 2019). Faith can be a protective factor leading to positive processing, coping flexibility, and recovery among survivors of sexual assault (Bryant-Davis et al., 2012; Ginesini, 2018; Hassija et al., 2016). Faith and spirituality are foundational pillars for finding meaning and hope in traumatic experiences (Barnes & Moodley, 2022; Richardson et al., 2022; Zelligman et al., 2020), especially when these beliefs are integrated with meaning-based counseling theory and practice. Therefore, it seems necessary to explore clients’ faith through counseling. This presentation will synthesize current research from three prominent theoretical approaches (Narrative Therapy, Logotherapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), provide support for Christian integration within these, and propose helpful, evidence-based interventions for licensed mental health professionals and ministry leaders to utilize with this population.

Learning Objectives

1. Discuss research from Narrative Therapy, Logotherapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as it relates to Christian survivors of sexual abuse that may be used in treatment planning
2. Describe at least two ways to integrate faith with those theoretical approaches with willing Christian survivors of sexual abuse to promote meaning and hope in previous traumatic experiences
3. Apply at least three creative, evidence-based interventions for counselors to use with Christian survivors of sexual abuse to improve client outcomes in positive recovery and coping
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