Healing through Connection
We recently completed a training session in the therapeutic Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) model. This therapy trains caregivers to provide effective support and treatment for people who have experienced abuse, neglect and trauma.
Trauma can change a person’s brain, body, behavior and belief system as a survival coping mechanism. Often this behavior is labelled as bipolar, bordeline, odd etc. There is nothing inherently wrong with this person, it is their learned behavior. This behavior keeps them safe, and helps them survive.
The premise of the TBRI model is a person can find healing through real connection, empowerment and correction. TBRI uses their Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. The heartbeat of TBRI is connection.
This training got me excited! I could relate it to previous clients I’d worked with in the States and Netherlands. And I saw this in the context of the nations and how each culture responds differently to trauma. I also saw this through the lens of the Gospel.
When Adam and Eve sinned they disconnected from God. For the first time ever they felt shame, nakedness, and stress. God called: ‘Where are you?’ He knew the answer but didn’t come with judgement. He came with the desire to connect. Then through Jesus, He completely restored the connection and empowered us to be able to walk in close relationship with Him.
The importance of connection was further illustrated in our training. We learned if we are securely attached to our community then we know how to ask for and receive help while negotiating our needs. This is something the Lord has been teaching me throughout the last few years. Vulnerability is good and vital to experience connection. But it is opposite of our culture since we value independence. We learn to take care of ourselves and not be a burden.
Yet this is contrary to the TBRI method and Kingdom culture. In the Kingdom we are to be fully dependent on the Lord. Jesus is the perfect example. He lived in full dependence of God. During His most vulnerable moment in Gethsemane He fought all of his emotions and his fears. He, as a friend, asked His friends to stay awake and pray with Him. He asked something of them even though He already knew they weren’t going to do it. And He did not get offended!
My heart is for us as the church to become that secure and healthy. My prayer is for us to live in connection with God and each other, the church. Then when we open our hearts, homes and church to those who are traumatized, broken and hurt they can experience the pure love of God and receive healing through connection with us and ultimately with God, our Father.