Therapist and author Mark Karris joins us to discuss religious trauma and the path to healing. Drawing on his own personal experiences and professional insights as a therapist, Mark reflects on oppressive religious beliefs, in particular the doctrine of Hell, original sin, and the image of a wrathful God, and the harm this can cause us. Mark then shares therapeutic tools that can help us on the journey to healing.

After the interview Tim and Joy reflect on the impact the doctrines of a wrath God, a sinful self, and Hell has had on them, and how they’ve tried to work through that.

Interview starts at 14m 29s

Image used with permission.


Mark Karris


Divine Echoes: Reconciling Prayer With the Uncontrolling Love of God

Religious Refugees: (De)Constructing Toward Spiritual and Emotional Healing

The Diabolical Trinity: Healing Religious Trauma from a Wrathful God, Tormenting Hell, and a Sinful Self


“Religious beliefs in and of themselves can and do cause considerable harm that manifests as trauma after the fact. Indoctrinated beliefs can be traumatizing, and religious beliefs carry tremendous power to either heal or harm.”

“Self-compassion can be thought of as responding to yourself in the midst of struggle as you would a dear friend.”

“To the degree that we’re living our values – and really being congruent – is the degree that we’re living a life of vitality.”


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