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REG. $36

Spiritual Care Handbook on PTSD/TBI

Rev. Brian P. Hughes, BCC; Rev. George Handzo, BCC

CE Credit: 3 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Social Work CE | Occupational Therapy CEUs | Marriage & Family Therapy CE

Learning Level: Introductory

Course Type: Web-Based

Course Abstract

Spiritual Care Handbook on PTSD/TBI is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers guidelines for providing appropriate and sensitive care to persons with posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

With the wars in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq, a new generation of military veterans has arrived home, requiring appropriate and sensitive pastoral care. This course is based on a handbook written for the Department of the Navy by The Rev. Brian Hughes and The Rev. George Handzo, entitled Spiritual Care Handbook on PTSD/TBI: The Handbook on Best Practices for the Provision of Spiritual Care to Persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. This manual begins by describing the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The handbook goes on to outline a theory of recovery, to describe the general stance of the pastoral counselor, and to provide guidelines for sensitivity to differences in religion, culture, and gender.

Referring to the empirical literature, specific pastoral interventions are described, including group work, meaning-making, spiritual care interventions, clinical use of prayer and healing rituals, confession work, percentage of guilt discussion, life review, scripture paralleling, reframing God assumptions, examining harmful spiritual attributions, encouraging connection with a spiritual community, mantra repetition, creative writing, sweat lodges, psychic judo, interpersonal therapy, and trauma incident reduction. Several other beneficial features include a description of seven stages of faith development and tips for self-care for the pastoral counselor.

TBD Course #30-66 | 2009 | 112 pages | 18 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1.Identify the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, and how they differ from normal levels of distress
2.Describe one theory of recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder, including three stages of recovery
3.Describe general guidelines for pastoral counselors working with military and veteran populations with PTSD and/or TBI, including appropriate self-care for pastoral counselors
4.Describe guidelines for building sensitivity to religion, culture, gender, and client preferences
5.Identify and briefly describe over 20 spiritual care interventions for PTSD and TBI, and variations on interventions to tailor them to different religious groups
6.Describe the empirical research evidence for pastoral counseling interventions
7.Identify and describe 7 stages of faith development

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Psychology and the Office of School Psychology and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635).


This web-based course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

The difference between online and web-based courses is that web-based course documents were not created by us (they are published documents from external sources located in the public-domain for educational purposes). Please note page numbers in the abstract above as these documents are not generally formatted for printing.

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

About the Author(s)

Rev. Brian P. Hughes, BCC, has worked as a hospital chaplain in Phoenix, Dallas, and Philadelphia. He has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Master of Religious Communication from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, TX. Chaplain Hughes is involved in ongoing research projects in a number of chaplaincy-related areas, and is chair of the Association of Professional Chaplains’ Education Committee. He is married to Dr. Jenevieve Hughes, a breast cancer surgeon in Richardson, TX, and they are raising a daughter, Adelyn.

Financial: No relevant financial relationships exist.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

Rev. George Handzo, BCC, is Vice President for Pastoral Care Leadership and Practice at HealthCare Chaplaincy. Rev. Handzo directs the only consulting service devoted to the strategic assessment, planning and management of chaplaincy services. Healthcare Chaplaincy employs best practices in strategic planning and clinical practice to maximize the effectiveness of an organization’s pastoral care and to align it with the institution’s overall objectives. George also leads the management of chaplaincy services in fifteen healthcare institutions in the metropolitan New York City area.

Financial: No relevant financial relationships exist.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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