How Can We Help Victims of Trauma and Abuse?:
(Questions for Restless Minds)

Stephen Williams,

Susan Williams

Lexham Press

How you can support survivors with the hope of Christ.

Chances are that you know someone who has experienced trauma—or you’ve experienced it yourself. So how can you respond wisely, carefully, and helpfully?

In How Can We Help Victims of Trauma and Abuse?, Stephen N. Williams and Susan L. Williams draw on their expertise in theology and counseling to equip you. A truly useful response must be informed, not just well-intentioned. Before we can aid in recovery, we must gain a deeper understanding of trauma’s emotional and spiritual implications. Discover how Christ is the light and life that defeats darkness and death.


Stephen Williams

Stephen N. Williams (PhD Yale University) is Honorary Professor of Theology at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Senior Research Fellow with the Creation Project. His recent publications include Revelation and Reconciliation: a Window on Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 1996), The Shadow of the Antichrist: Nietzsche’s Critique of Christianity (Baker Academic, 2006), and The Election of Grace: A Riddle without a Resolution? (Eerdmans, 2015).

Susan Williams

Susan L. Williams (PhD University of Ulster) is a pastoral counselor, specializing in acute and developmental trauma. She received her PhD from the University of Ulster for narrative research carried out in the intensive care unit at the Royal Hospital in Belfast, subsequently published as Life after a Critical Incident in Hospital: An Exploration in the Language of Trauma (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2010).


Profound, insightful, compassionate, and practical. This book weaves together the latest scientific and professional knowledge about psychological trauma and abuse with deep theological and pastoral wisdom. The complementary backgrounds of the authors provide a unique, cohesive, and authentically Christian perspective on these critically important topics. Essential reading for pastors and Christian lay-people who wish to support the many victims of abuse within our congregations.

John Wyatt, Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Pediatrics, University College, London; President of the Christian Medical Fellowship

These two authors, deeply immersed in trauma counselling and theology, have accomplished a task which few would attempt. They have given us an in-depth analysis of the emotional, physical, relational, and psychospiritual impacts of trauma in the lives of those wounded by it, written from a Christian framework of understanding. It is brilliant. Meticulously researched and imbued with experiential and reflective wisdom, their writing cuts new ground in probing the distortions caused by trauma in people’s experiences of reality. It also offers challenges to the church to deepen its own response to victims of abuse and trauma, and even further, to seek for itself a more open, receptive relationship with the God who heals.

Elaine Storkey, Author of Scars Across Humanity

This is a well-written, well-documented, and very important book on a major concern in society and the church today. Abuse and trauma are nothing new, of course, but they have become rampant. This book can help the church understand and become active in helping those who are victims of this very heartbreaking epidemic. The authors masterfully combine the empirical, scientific, statistical, and clinical data with careful articulation of biblical and theological truth about the realities of life as fallen and corrupt people in a fallen and corrupt world.

Richard E. Averbeck, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

This generation of Christians inhabit cultures that sometimes reject not only biblical revelation about reality but also the reality of reality itself. The Questions for Restless Minds series poses many of the toughest questions faced by young Christians to some of the world’s foremost Christian thinkers and leaders. Along the way, this series seeks to help the Christian next generation to learn how to think biblically when they face questions in years to come that perhaps no one yet sees coming.

Russell Moore, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today

If you’re hungry to go deeper in your faith, wrestle with hard questions, and are dissatisfied with the shallow content on your social media newsfeed, you’ll really appreciate this series of thoughtful deep dives on critically important topics like faith, the Bible, friendship, sexuality, philosophy, and more. As you engage with some world-class Christian scholars, you’ll be encouraged, equipped, challenged, and above all invited to love God more with your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Andy Kim, Multiethnic Resource Director, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

We have written short books pitched at undergraduates who want arguments that are accessible and stimulating, but invariably courteous. The material is comprehensive enough that it has become an important resource for pastors and other campus leaders who devote their energies to work with students. Each essay ends with a brief annotated bibliography, intended for readers who want to probe a little further.

D. A. Carson, From the Foreword