News • September 25, 2017

Trauma recovery model focus of Culture and Justice Lecture Series event

Dr. Becca Johnson

Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 22, 2017) — The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at California Baptist University launched its Culture and Justice Lecture Series on Sept. 21 with a discourse on the effects of trauma. Dr. Becca Johnson, a licensed psychologist for more than 25 years, shared how she has developed a trauma recovery model based on understanding and empathy for trauma victims.   

Johnson serves as the clinical director and oversees individual and group therapy for Engedi Refuge Ministries, a residential recovery home for women victims of domestic sex trafficking. Johnson also consults and provides training for organizations that help human trafficking victims.

“I was shocked with all my travels that people who work with the traumatized don’t really understand trauma,” said Johnson of her early professional consulting opportunities. “Or if they do, it’s in their head and not in their heart…and to me that is like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” 

Johnson said that if you do not have the understanding or the heart for traumatized people you will not be able to help them effectively.

“My motto used to be, ‘I want to help the hurting heal,’ but now it is, ‘I help helpers help the hurting heal with God’s hope,’” Johnson said.

In her training others to help the victimized, Johnson said she wants individuals to become “trauma-sensitive.”

When working with victims we have to honor them and use our words wisely, Johnson said. People use the word trauma too flippantly. Trauma affects everybody differently, she added. 

Johnson said that depending on several factors and the types of trauma a person faces, the road to recovery is a long and complex one. It is not an easy task to help a traumatized patient. However, it can also be a rewarding experience, Johnson added.

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