Addressing Spiritual Struggles using Spiriturally Oriented Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy :
An International Case Study
Katherine J. Partridge and Donald F. Walker Regent University
With many internationally adopted children coming from war-torn and politically corrupt countries there are a number of children coming to this country having faced nearly life-long trauma. Many of such youth experience extreme disruption in functioning that some countries have suspended the ability for children to be adopted by families outside of the country. Further, while many of these children who are adopted into Christian families may initially find some comfort from a new found faith, spiritual struggles are likely to surface. Walker, Reese, Hughes, and Troskie (2010) have developed a spiritually-oriented form of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (SO-TF-CBT) to address spiritual issues in child trauma therapy. Cultural factors further complicate the process of resolving spiritual struggles after abuse when a child is being adopted internationally.
In this brief report, we report an amalgamated case study which demonstrates some of the unique struggles that a child with complex trauma involving child abuse, who later became a Christian, may experience. First, we will provide a brief cultural backdrop and client demographics. We then provide a brief trauma history and review the client’s spiritual functioning. We then conclude by providing specific considerations for using spiritually-oriented interventions within the context of TF-CBT.
Natalya (pseudo name) is a 16-year-old female who was brought in for treatment by her adoptive mother, Mrs. Hammond (pseudo name). Clinical interviews and assessment confirmed a diagnosis of PTSD which resulted from persistent