CHICAGO, July 31, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the world's leading faith-based counseling organization, announces the launch of a new professional division focusing on Abortion, Sexual Trauma and Healing. Julie Woodley, ministry outreach representative at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, will provide leadership and serve as the division head, joined by an advisory board of Christian professionals. Woodley is also founder and director of Restoring the Heart Ministries.
"We are committed to equipping Christian counselors and the entire 'community of care' --licensed professionals, pastors, and lay church members with little or no formal training -- to provide the best possible mental health and soul care, ultimately leading clients toward maturity in Christ," said AACC president, Dr. Tim Clinton.
The wounds caused by abortion and sexual trauma are far-reaching and devastating. In response to this epidemic, the AACC is taking a pro-active stance to equip and train counselors and caregivers on these important issues. Many clients -- both men and women -- are affected by such heartache, and it is essential that professional counselors and lay leaders understand their deep soul wounds and are equipped to offer effective healing interventions that lead to forgiveness, freedom, and wholeness.
"My vision for this new division is to mobilize both mental health professionals and lay counselors to respond to the pain of sexual trauma and abortion," said Julie Woodley. "We will provide training to the Christian community and beyond on healing from the deep wounds of post-abortion, sexual trauma, human exploitation, trafficking and prostitution."
In conjunction with AACC, Woodley has produced two DVD training series -- In the Wildflowers, to help lead individuals through the healing process of recovering from childhood sexual abuse, as well as Into My Arms, to help lead women through the forgiveness journey after an abortion.. The DVD training series with curriculum are being used throughout the country and internationally by counseling professionals.
In addition to her outreach role at Timberline Knolls, Woodley is a national speaker, author, and counselor. Her desire to reach men and women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse came out of her own life experiences. Her story has been aired on various national media outlets and she speaks to audiences across the country on healing from trauma. She holds an M.A. in counseling and a certificate in Theological Studies from Bethel Seminary. She is also a certified trauma counselor and was ordained in 2000.
Woodley co-authored her life story, Restoring the Heart: Experiencing Christ's Healing after Brokenness with Mathew Woodley. She also wrote Post-Abortion Trauma: The Silent Side of Abortion with Mark Kretschmar, and Surviving the Storms of Life with Dr. H. Norman Wright and Mathew Woodley.
"My passion is to become involved in the lives of others, inviting them to consider their own hearts and helping them discard the things that rob them of the joy that God has for them," adds Woodley. "In my new role, I hope to bring my passion and knowledge to those struggling."
About the American Association of Christian Counselors
The AACC is the world's leading faith-based counseling organization, with a vision to serve the worldwide Christian Church by helping foster healing and maturity in Christ. The organization seeks to educate and equip professional clinicians, pastoral counselors, and lay helpers through developing comprehensive resources, trainings, conferences, magazines, newsletters, webinars, and other media forms. In addition, the AACC facilitates community, networking and collaboration among Christian caregivers around the world. For more information about membership and events, visit our website, call 1.800.526.8673, or stop by our social media sites -- Facebook and Twitter.
About Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls (ages 12 - 65+) with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. Located in suburban Chicago, residents receive excellent clinical care from a highly trained professional staff on a picturesque 43-acre wooded campus. Women and families seeking Christian treatment can opt for specialized Christian-based therapy. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611. We are also on Facebook - Timberline Knolls, and LinkedIn - Timberline Knolls.