University Prepares Christian Trauma Counselors for Ukraine

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The counseling program at Regent University in Virginia Beach is focusing their efforts on caring for those in Ukraine who are suffering from the aftermath of Russia’s violent invasion, according to CBN News. Preparing to provide traumatic counseling with a Christian approach, the counselors who are receiving training through the University are especially equipped to provide effective mental health support reflecting faithful values for those experiencing severe pain and trauma. 

Dr. William Hathaway, Regent University’s executive vice president of Academic Affairs, shared that the training they provide for counselors is not only used to help people after the traumatizing events have happened, but during the events as well. Hathaway explained that the purpose of such counseling is to help people “persevere through trauma” with “resilience.” Referencing Ukraine specifically, Hathaway added that though we do not know how the circumstances in Ukraine will change, giving people the resources they need to survive and persevere, particularly those of spiritual support, is crucial to their ability to keep going as they find hope through faith. 


Dr. Olya Zaporozhets, a native of Ukraine and associate professor for Regent’s School of Psychology and Counseling, recognized that many of those enrolled in the counseling program were struggling with the horrific events in Ukraine themselves. With this, Zaporozhets redirected the focus of the program to “stabilization” to help their own clinicians deal with the stress, especially those who are working to make a difference in Ukraine right now. CBN News reports that Zaporozhets said, “There are some people we trained [who] are literally in the trenches right now as we speak…There are people in the military. There are people who are in hospitals. Those students that are Christians, they are a little more outspoken about miracles that God is doing during this war and how he is responding to prayers which are undeniable.”

The counseling program at Regent University has been helping provide mental health care to people in need with a Christian approach since 2012 when a private Christian school asked for help educating pastoral counselors. Embracing this request, Regent University has remained committed to providing effective training for faith-based counselors handling situations that involve highly traumatic experiences. For those suffering in Ukraine and those struggling with the terrorizing situation, the counseling provided by Regent University is bringing strength, hope, and faith to those who need it most. 


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