Healing the wounds of psycho trauma victims through spiritual contemplation
MIRI — Untreated incidents of psycho trauma experiences have caused prolonged sufferings for many people, including Catholics.
There are many of these traumatised victims from among Catholics who suffered for decades, as there are very few trauma-specialists within the church who can give psycho-spiritual healings.
‘This aspect of our church life – spiritual healing of trauma victims – needs to be developed as there is a serious lack at this moment in time in our Catholic churches in Asia,’ said Father Cornelio Jaranilla (popularly called Fr Kuni) who is a Carmelite priest of 26 years.
Father Kuni, who hails from Manila in the Philippines, specialises in trauma spiritual-counselling and healing. He has been helping victims of natural disasters and violence in his home country for many years. He travels extensively within his country and abroad to give talks as well as to give counselling.
He came to Miri on Jan 10 – 12, 2019 to give a talk on such spiritual healings for adults and children who have been afflicted by physical and emotional traumas.
During the talks held at St Francis Chapel Miri over the three days, Fr Kuni spoke on the increasing need in the church to reach out and help victims who suffer from trauma of one form or another.
There were many important points that Fr Kuni raised. Among them are :
1. There are 2 levels of trauma – that is physical trauma which is trauma to the body or head and psycho trauma which is the extremely distressing experience that causes severe emotional shock that may create long-lasting psychological impact on the victim
2. There are many psycho trauma victims who do not know who to seek help from or who are afraid to seek help due to fears and shame
3. The church lacks psycho trauma specialists even in the clergy – thus the urgent need to train lay people to be para-counsellors
4. Almost everyone suffers from psycho trauma of one form or another and in one degree or another
5. Example of main causes of physical and/ or psycho trauma – violence, natural disasters, death of loved ones, family breakdown, divorce, rejection, physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, chronic illnesses etc
6. Psycho trauma causes feelings of helplessness and overpowers the person emotionally and/ or physically
7. Causes inability to feel joy, inability to move on in life as the victim is stuck in the past, and can lead to physical illness and disease and depression
8. Can lead to suicide if left untreated
9. Early intervention is crucial to help and treat psycho trauma victims, especially children who suffered abuses when they were born to when they are five years old
10. It may take up to 2 to 5 years to heal psycho trauma wounds
11. Learn self-healing techniques through spiritual contemplation
12. Always bring Jesus Christ to accompany us in the healing process
13. Support from family, spouse, parents, children and church circles are crucial for psycho trauma victims
14. But final healing is possible only in union with God – the contemplation process
The seminar here in Miri is the second that Fr Kuni has given on psycho trauma in Malaysia, after the one in Kota Kinabalu. He will be going to Kuching to give a similar talk to the parishioners in the Kuching diocese. The date has been fixed for 28 February – 2 March, at the ACCPC.
Stephen Then Vui Fah