Caring for the Wounded Heart: Trauma Healing Program

Some experiences in life are so painful, they cause deep and lasting suffering. That suffering is what we call “trauma”. Trauma is a deep wound of the heart and mind that takes a long time to heal. It hurts every part of us: our relationships, our bodies, our thoughts, and our faith.

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The restorative power of God’s Word

Trauma healing ministry draws on the restorative power of God’s Word. The Bible-based curriculum – Caring for the Wounded Heart: Trauma Healing Program – includes basic mental health concepts to help participants identify their pain, share their suffering, bring their pain to the cross of Christ for healing, and, for cases where the trauma was caused by the actions of another person, learn to forgive their oppressors.

The Canadian Bible Society (CBS) is investing in training and resourcing people to establish Bible-based Trauma Healing Facilitators across Canada. Pastors, volunteers, ministry staff, and lay leaders from churches across Canada will be equipped with this proven methodology and will help thousands of people In Canada find themselves freed from the distress, helplessness, and intense fear of trauma.

In 2022, CBS trained 101 more Apprentices, and 22 more higher level facilitators. CBS continues to form partnerships with churches and other organizations to establish more Trauma Healing ministries across Canada.

In 2023, God has invited us to join Him in bringing healing to a broken world, opening doors for people to experience healing – from Vancouver to Moncton to Iqaluit and Tuktoyaktuk, and many places in between. We invite you to join us.

Find a Caring for the Wounded Heart Healing Group

Our Caring for the Wounded Heart healing groups, led by trained and dedicated leaders, provide safe and sacred places for people in need of counselling and healing.

Join a healing group by completing this form.

Support Caring for the Wounded Heart

Help the Canadian Bible Society equip leaders with training and Bible-based resources with your gift today.

Become a Caring for the Wounded Heart Facilitator

CBS is developing a network of facilitators who can be deployed to lead Caring for the Wounded Heart healing sessions around the country. The more people who take apprentice facilitator training, the more groups there will be, and the more people who will be helped. Many people want to help others heal but it takes knowledge and skill to help people who are in pain, without hurting them more. If you feel called to help others who are suffering from the pain of trauma, send your information today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a healing group?

A healing group is designed to be a safe place where participants are able to share the pain of their hearts, listen to others’ pain, and walk alongside one another in the healing journey. This approach to trauma healing has been used effectively worldwide, but it is important to keep in mind that this group is not a substitute for professional care. Trust and continuity are important parts in experiencing the healing process, so it is important to attend each session.

How are you defining “Trauma”?

Some experiences in life are very painful. They can cause deep suffering that lasts a long time. This is what we call “trauma.” Trauma is a deep wound of the heart and mind that takes a long time to heal, and can be caused by a single event, a prolonged event, or repeated events. In this healing group we will be referring to trauma as a “heart wound”. Heart wounds can hurt every part of our lives: how we relate to others, how our body feels, what we think about, and how much we can trust God. Heart wounds can make us feel separated from God and others; we may no longer feel like the same person as before. But God is with everyone who suffers; He knows our pain and helps us heal so we can have hope.

What are the topics for this healing group?

The material is a combination of biblical principles and mental health best practices. We will be covering the six core lessons from the Trauma Healing Institute’s Healing the Wounds of Trauma (traumahealinginstitute.org).

  1. What is a wound of the heart?
    Learn about trauma and its effects
  2. What can help our heart wounds heal?
    Learn how to make space for people to share their stories and have the opportunity to share your own
  3. What happens when someone is grieving?
    Explore any trauma or loss you may be carrying
  4. If God loves us, why do we suffer?
    Discover what the Bible says about suffering, and who God is in our suffering
  5. Bringing our pain to the cross
    Release some of the emotional pain you carry
  6. How can we forgive others?
    Help you get unstuck, reconnected, and ready to move on in life
  7. Build resilience for the future
    Join a group studying Strength from Weakness, a follow up program to HWT
What does a healing group look like?

Each session we will start by reading and discussing a story from the lesson material. There will be large group discussion and small group/partner discussion as well as an experiential part with an expressive exercise such as writing or drawing (artistic talent not required) or listening to a song.

This is a participatory group, built around discussions and activities, and we hope you will feel comfortable both listening and participating. That being said, you choose when and if you want to share part of your story.

What about confidentiality?

The process of healing from trauma continuously requires a safe place for people to process and work through their experience(s).

Whatever is heard in the healing group stays in the healing group. You can tell your own story to whomever you wish, but you cannot share someone else’s story with anyone – even with others in the group – unless you have the person’s permission to do so. The only circumstances in which facilitators must break confidentiality are in the cases of suspected child abuse, elder abuse, or in the case of immediate danger to a person (e.g., threats of suicide). While we cannot promise complete security due to the nature of an online forum (if meeting online) we have done everything we can to ensure your safety and the safety of the group. We will not take photos without express permission. At the end of the group, we might take one group picture if everyone is comfortable with this.

What happens if i find myself reacting/responding to a topic that we are talking about?
We recognize that heart wounds aren’t easy to talk about. Sometimes, when we start talking about or thinking about our pain, our bodies, heart, and mind react. This could look like experiencing sudden anxiety, grief, or a flood of unwanted memories. This is quite normal as you work through the healing process. We will do our best to walk with you through these feelings and we will have a list of resources in your area available if you find yourself needing more support than the group offers you. If this is the case, please seek support from a person with trauma expertise as this group is not a replacement for professional counselling, group therapy or other clinical forms of healing.

While we hope you will experience emotional healing, this is not a guaranteed outcome.

Adapted from Heather Drew for the THI © 2020 and Vivian Bright for Connecting Streams, 2022

Contact Us

For more information about Caring for the Wounded Heart program, please contact:

Stacey Stolte

Program Lead
Email: sstolte@biblesociety.ca

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