Trauma and Shame in a Fallen World

Allender Center for Abuse and Trauma

According to Dr. Dan Allender, we all need to look at those trauma stories we’ve written off as already resolved and say “What more am I to learn and how can I engage these stories with kindness?”


Realizing and Recovering from Trauma and Shame

Highlights from the interview:
  • The Allender Center of Abuse and Trauma addresses the heartbreaking reality that nobody goes through life without some level of violation and assault. At some point in our lives, we will all know some violation of our dignity and honor through abuse.
  • Can one recover from trauma and turn their life into a thing of beauty? Absolutely, Jesus turns ashes into beauty. There is the probability, if we’re engaging the story, to enter into that story without despair.
  • Trauma is when our world comes into upheaval and there is no quick way to restore it.
  • Time does NOT heal all wounds.  Trauma is living in a fallen world. Abuse is the experience of some form of violation and injustice in the midst of that trauma. When you combine the two….no one escapes trauma, most people don’t escape abuse.
  • Those issues must be addressed forthrightly, naming what occurred, who brought about the harm, what did you experience, what did your brain do then and now.
  • The byproduct of not addressing it is a lack of wholeness and therefore a lack of joy.
  • When you experience trauma, the portion of the brain that regulates speech goes offline, which is why we often have no memory of what happened and/or we get numb.
  • We must do good things for our fragmented selves. How do you care for the broken part of you?

Listen to the episode for the full story.



Lifestory Writing



Stacy’s Journal

Welcome to Stacy’s Journal! In this segment, I let you peek into my journal as I share my thoughts on a topic or resilience resource. Today I want to talk about naming our hurt. Naming what has happened to us. Dr. Allender touched on this in our interview. Often, we don’t have names for the trauma and shame that has occurred in our lives. Sometimes because we have buried the events and the memories, sometimes because we’ve denied what happened to us, and sometimes because people have told us to get over it or we try to minimize the damage. But as we carefully step into our hurts and write about them, we start to find specific words and language for what happened.


The interesting thing is, as soon as you find words to describe your trauma, it starts to lose its grip on you. It separates you from that emotional pain and puts you in better control of your own story. That is the first step to healing. I encourage you to name your trauma, name your shame, name your heartache, disappointments, and devastations. Take that first step to free yourself from their entanglements. You might want to start by attending my free webinar – the 4 simple, proven methods to writing the first chapter of your life story in just 7 days. I’ll share how to easily get started writing your own stories and finding the words you need.


That’s all we have for today. Last episode, Radney Foster shared his heartbreak when his ex wife moved with their 4 year old son to France. He explained what he did to stay connected to his child and to resolve the anger. So, if you’ve had some heartbreak yourself, you might want to go back and have a listen. Next week, we’ll interview Rachael Clinton, our second interview in this trilogy. She discusses tending to heartbreak and I think you’ll find it fascinating.


I love interacting with our listeners on social media. We’re on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, and just about anywhere you can hold a great virtual conversation. Plus, I answer all my emails personally, so feel free to email me: stacy{at}stacybrookman{dot}com.


100 Most Important Memoirs of the Past 200 Years

This week’s memoir is: Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl

In 1942, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until they were betrayed to the Gestapo, they lived cloistered in the secret annex of an old building. Her diary offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short. Check out Diary of a Young Girl and all the memoirs on this list at

blankClick on the graphic to learn about this memoir and all of the most important memoirs of the past 200 years…


About: Dr. Dan Allender

Founder of the Allender Center, Dr. Dan AllenderDr. Dan Allender has pioneered a unique and innovative approach to trauma and abuse therapy over the past 30 years. Central to Dr. Allender’s theory and approach are the categories of Faith, Hope and Love, and their converses betrayal, ambivalence, and powerlessness. Through identifying and engaging these categories in one’s personal narrative, healing and transformation can occur by bridging the story of the gospel and the stories of trauma and abuse that mark so many.

After receiving his Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, Dr. Allender earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University. Dan taught in the Biblical Counseling department of Grace Theological Seminary for seven years (1983-1989). From 1989-1997, Dan worked as professor in the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program at Colorado Christian University in Denver. In 1997, Dan and a cadre of others founded The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology, in order to train therapists, pastors, artists, and leaders to more effectively serve in the context of the 21st century. Dan served as President of The Seattle School from 2002-2009.

Dan continues to serve as Professor of Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School. He travels and speaks extensively to present his unique perspective on sexual abuse recovery, love and forgiveness, intimacy and marriage, worship, and other related topics. Dan is the author of The Wounded HeartThe Healing PathTo Be Told, and God Loves Sex, and he has co-authored several books with Dr. Tremper Longman, including Intimate AlliesThe Cry of the SoulBold Love, and Bold Purpose.



Links: Write of Your Life, Life Story, Memoir




Why write a life story you never want to publish




Also published on Medium.

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