Aundi Kolber is a Christian counselor with a history of her own complex trauma and a heart to serve and counsel those who have gone threw their own trauma or hurt. If you haven’t read my previous review of Aundi’s other book, Try Softer, you can see it here that looks at the idea of approaching hurt and pain in a more gentle and caring way. This mentality is furthered in this book, but specifically talking in the sense of trauma. As with her previous book, Aundi gives a strong psychoeducational lesson on what trauma is, through the lens of someone with lived experience as well as a professional understanding.
This threw me off in the first book as I had initially expected Jesus to be discussed more up front, but in all reality, I’m not the target demographic for this book. In fact, I wonder if every pastor who plans to do some kind of biblical or pastoral counseling should have this as a read through to understand trauma and the implications it can have on one’s faith as well as how us as helpers and counselors need to approach it.
The Reality of Trauma
The hard part about mental health treatment is that it takes a long time, a conversation I think that is important for pastors to hear as expecting to “fix” people adds to the stigma of mental illness within the Church. Aundi’s quote above furthers this need for understanding the length of time it takes for healing with trauma, including the concern that trauma is ALWAYS going to be present because it is apart of that person’s story.
Therefore, if an individual is traumatized by something else, does not keep up on their self-care and community with God and others, and coasts with their mental health, they can come to relapse with trauma symptoms. Too often, after someone “seems fine” we expect them to behave as such. But that’s not how it works.
Yet as Aundi discusses, this is a time we can look to reflect God in His perfectness and not ourselves in our brokenness. That we can show the endless love of God through His healing and grace to you and me as well continue to be image bearers and ambassadors for His kingdom. This is a perfect book for someone to learn more about trauma, a launching pad to start to help an individual who is going through their own stuff, and integrate healing into their faith. I give this book a 5 out of 5.