On the show today we are talking all about trauma-informed care with Sanghoon Yoo, reverend and founder of The Faithful City.  He will be sharing with us the importance of utilizing a trauma-informed care approach when offering care at your church.  And how this model has the ability to transform the culture of our church. 



Ask What happened to you?  Not, What’s wrong with you?

  • The environment in which Sanghoon grew up was ridden with conflict and political turmoil in South Korea
  • Sanghoon was a deep thinker, even at a young age.  Found his peers to be shallow and preferred to study theology and philosophy 
  • Being marginalized isn’t just about money and power.


Sanghoon was drawn to Social Work over philosophy because of its practical application.  

  • Social work aligned with the Christian context as supporting social injustices and bringing change
  • Sanghoon identifies as a care pastor who does community engagement 


How do you integrate clinical skills and pastoral care? 

  • People come to the pastor first before going to counselling 
  • Social work and pastoral heart don’t clash
  • My church is often a coffee shop.  Lives are changed while we are enjoying a coffee. 


The Faithful City – Organization

  • Started as a campus ministry and offered discipleship to students from around the world.
  • Started working with city-run project offering training and support 
  •  Started recognizing many have experienced truama and experienced some impacts of vicarious truama


Beginning of Trauma-Informed work

  • After a time of finding healing from depression, Sagnhoon was introduced to Trauma-Informed training for churches and he ACE’s study (Adverse Childhood Experiences) 
  • Exponential growth has come from the integration of trauma-informed work with the faith community
  • trauma-informed principals talk about the human need for unconditional love and compassion. Sanghon found this is where the trauma-informed work fits in with Gospel. 


How can the church apply trauma-informed care?

  • Whoever follows Jesus will be the best trauma-informed guide. 
  • Trauma is a human-kind issue, not just a side ministry
  • Trauma-Informed is our biological corrected behaviour to survive against any kind of stress. 
  • When Trauma experiences go without relief or support it can impact our whole body systems, which is connected to the original sin
  • The root cause of all our brokenness is the sin in the garden of Eden.  


Trauma is everywhere

  • “In the church, we only talk bout sin as self-will to choice, but trauma-informed work identifies the impact of sins on those who did not have a choice. 
  • Trauma isn’t a clinical thing, it’s part of human-kind
  • The most important part about being trauma-informed is bringing safety.    


Regulate, Relate & Reason

Regulate:  Calming our body systems
Relate:  Creating a safe place of acceptance
Reason:  Offer support and discover what happened

  • So often we are focused on having people learn the rules in order to belong. 
  • Trauma-Informed Care is a bottom-up approach, you belong here first, it’s okay to not be okay and we can talk about what happened. 
  • John 8 – Jesus didn’t focus on sin, he created safety first. 


How can people implement trauma-informed care work in a church?

  • Trauma is so connected to the body that we can be triggered when we are reminded by events, places, smells and sounds.   This can happen at church too.
  • The environment is also key to trauma-informed care, because we want to prevent people from being triggered when they engage with the church as it will be a barrier to them. 
  • Trauma-Informed care shifts the focus from us and them, therapist and client.  We have all experienced trauma and creating spaces that feel safe create accessible environments. 


Trauma-Informed Care is more than a template to help people.  It requires self-reflection, considering the church environment, and approaches to support people. 


Journey Sanghoon walks churches through. 

  1. Raising awareness
  2. Increasing resiliency among the leaders
  3. Organizational, culture change (environment, language, small colour) 
  4. Community change



Website: TheFaithfulCity.org
Email:  thefaithfulcity@gmail.com
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