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Trauma in the Pews

The Impact on Faith and Spiritual Practices


TRAUMA IN THE PEWS is a practical and compassionate roadmap for spiritual leaders to effectively minister to those struggling with effects of trauma. In spite of the challenges of our increasingly complex world, together we can create safer spaces for authentic healing and a deeper connection with God.

Very few come through life unscathed by some form of trauma. It’s been established through countless studies that well over half of the American population has endured significant trauma by the age of eighteen. Since many turn to faith communities in times of crisis, it’s reasonable to assume that there is an even higher percentage of trauma survivors among congregants. Without the right tools, it can be difficult to recognize or respond to those suffering in the pews.

Faith leader, trauma survivor and trauma informed expert, Janyne McConnaughey, PhD, brilliantly combines personal stories, insight and current research to equip readers to:

· Recognize the effects of trauma on the brain and body
· Understand the impact of trauma on common spiritual practices
· Support the healing of those who have been impacted by trauma.


“Trauma in the Pews [shows] how to break the cycle of perpetuating spiritual trauma and how to experience God and the church as a place of healing.”
- Mark A. Maddix, PhD, Point Loma Nazarene University

“Dr. McConnaughey not only makes the case for why churches and their leaders should be trauma informed but shows how leaders can truly be trauma responsive.”
- Julie Beem, MBA, Executive Director: Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc.

“I highly recommend this book to those who seek to understand how trauma interplays with individual and communal faith tradition practices.”
- Rev. Dr. Sanghoon Yoo, The Faithful City & AZ Trauma Informed Faith Coalition

“This book is just what we as individuals, leaders, and churches need as we seek healing!”
- Thomas Jay Oord, PhD, Northwind Theological Seminary

“I gripped every word . . . this book serves as a healing catalyst while supporting faith-based leaders to transform truth into practice.”
- Mathew Portell, MEd, Trauma Informed Educators Network

“Trauma in the Pews is…a deeply grounded enactment of vulnerability, truth-telling, and possibility.”
- Michael Hanegan, Senior Fellow, The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute

“Janyne has given a gift to the faith community. Let those who have ears hear its timely message.”
- Kiersten (Adkins) Moore, MA, LPC, Executive Director: Pathway to Hope



•    Best Indie Book Awards (BIBA) - Non-Fiction: Psychology

•    Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Award – Gold, Religion 

  Author Janyne McConnaughey  


Janyne McConnaughey, Ph.D., nationally known trauma-informed author & advocate builds on her forty-year career in teaching, teacher education, and an expertise in early childhood development to help educators, caregivers, and church ministry leaders understand and apply trauma-informed practices. She is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who began her healing journey at the age of sixty-one. Realizing healing was possible for survivors, Janyne authored the Brave Series, three psychoeducational memoirs describing the effects of childhood trauma and the paths to healing. Her most recent book, Trauma in the Pews: The Impact on Faith and Spiritual Practices provides a trauma-informed, sensitive, and responsive paradigm shift for churches and ministry leaders. Janyne’s passion is encouraging other survivors of childhood trauma to seek healing. She is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tabor College (Masters in Education: Neuroscience & Trauma) and serves as Board President for the Attachment & Trauma Network (ATN). She is a frequent speaker for mental health organizations, survivor groups, schools, churches, and other faith-related organizations. Janyne, her husband Scott, and rescue dog Weber live south of Seattle and enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.

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