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Is There Such A Thing As Spiritual Abuse?

When people come to the rooms of twelve step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or another group, they are often intimidated by the use of the term “God”. Twelve step programs are not religious or attached to any particular kind of doctrine. Instead, they are spiritual in nature. The twelve steps are designed to help someone have a “spiritual experience”. Having a spiritual experience, the original founders of the twelve step program believed, was the only way to have the kind of “psychic change” necessary for creating a total life change. For some people who are recovering, whether they are recovering from addiction, mental health, or trauma, they’ve had enough spiritual experiences. Many people who come to “the rooms” had religion or spirituality “shoved down their throats”. Unfortunately for many people, spirituality or the practice of religion was their trauma and a contributing factor to any kind of addiction or self-harm.

Growing up in strict, dogmatic, punishing religious families or communities can be a detriment. Rather than preach any kind of love and tolerance, some people grow up in a world full of uncertain threats, immense guilt, shame, control, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and other kinds of abuses- all in the name of spirituality or religion. Spiritual abuse happens to many people, who become deeply affected by it. They develop an intimate adversity toward any kind of spirituality or religion. They might develop an unhealthy relationship with the negative toxicity, seeking it out through continued religious endeavours or relationships.

As an individual cause of trauma, spiritual abuse is not often identified. Typically, spirituality and religion are part of a complex dynamic which makes up someone’s life and contributes to their trauma or the maladaptive behaviors created as a result of trauma. Spiritual abuse should be considered an identifiable cause of trauma. Trauma can be defined as any life event or series of live events which change the way someone sees themselves, the world around them, and their place in that world. If the use of spirituality and religion in someone’s life creates this change and inspires some of the many reactions to trauma, it should be considered trauma.

Everyone’s trauma is different and transpires in different ways. If you feel that the role of spirituality or religion in your life has been an abusive one, your chance to heal from trauma is now.

Everyone has a story of trauma before they come treatment. Everyone leaves with a story of recovery when they leave treatment. The Guest House Ocala is a private treatment center specializing in the treatment of trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Your program of care is customized according to your specific experiences and needs. Our luxury amenities provide the highest level of quality care and comfort so you feel safe, supported, and serene. Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800