Journeying From Grief to Grace: How a Retreat Program Helps Sex-Abuse Victims Heal

National Catholic Register

September 22, 2018

By Judy Roberts

Support is vital to recovery.

Two experiences of sexual abuse, one by a priest, left Marty Meyer like many victims of trauma: outwardly normal, but inwardly distant from people, especially men.

After trying therapy and prayer for inner healing, he finally found help through “Grief to Grace: Healing the Wounds of Abuse,” a retreat program started in 2005 by Theresa Burke, a psychotherapist who created Rachel’s Vineyard retreats for those suffering from post-abortion trauma. It was Burke’s discovery that many post-abortive women had also experienced sexual abuse that led her to develop the second program.

Meyer said Grief to Grace, which takes place over five to seven days, can succeed where therapy alone does not because, in conventional therapy, about the time the client is ready to open up, the session is ending. “You never really have a chance to unpack this significant event of your life,” he said.

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