Trauma, Development, and Spirituality
How can trauma affect neural development –?
According to Putnam (2006) research indicates that trauma can affect two basic processes, neurodevelopment and psychosocial development which is caused by early abuse and neglect, and also indicates that perhaps most maltreated children will have substantial problems that will affect their social, emotional, and physical development (Putnam, 2003).
As adults they will experience far greater problems with mental illness, substance abuse, and poor physical health then their non-abused peers, and will be less likely to complete their education or be gainfully employed, and are more likely to have many legal problems.
How does spiritual development counter the effects of trauma?
According to the national center for PTSD evidence suggests that trauma produces both positive and negative effects on the spiritual experience and perceptions of individuals. For example, depression and loneliness can lead to feelings of abandonment and loss of faith in God. On the positive side, some individuals experience increased appreciation of life, greater perceived closeness to God, increased sense of purpose in life, and enhanced spiritual well-being even following devastating events such as disasters and rape. Research also indicates that healthy spiritually is often associated with lower levels of symptoms and clinical problems in some trauma populations. For example, anger, rage, and a desire for revenge following trauma ney be tempered by forgiveness, spiritual beliefs, or spiritual practices.
Spiritually may improve post-trauma outcomes through (1) reduction of behavioral risks through healthy religious lifestyles (less drinking or smoking), (2) expanded social support through involvement in spiritual communities, (3) enhancement of coping skills and helpful ways of understanding trauma that result in meaning –making, and (4) physiological mechanisms such as...