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J. Jeffrey Means Ph.D.

The Rev. J. Jeffrey Means, Ph.D., is Director of Clinical Services and Professional Education at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center.

Jeffrey Means in the News
Author of Trauma and Evil Discusses Moral Aspects of Violence

From the article "Not Judgment, Just Life: Religious Thinkers Taking a More Sympathetic Look at the Deep Wounds that Outlast Trauma," by Susan Hogan-Albach, in The Dallas Morning News (June 2, 2001):

"... Trauma may produce symptoms that carry with them a mental health diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder or various disassociative disorders, said the Rev. J. Jeffrey Means, director of clinical services and professional education at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center in Iowa.

" 'The responses they're having are normal reactions to an abnormal situation,' he said. 'To label them ill is doing a disservice. It focuses our attention on the wrong point.' ...

"Dr. Means, who has spent more than 20 years helping survivors of sexual abuse, said the word 'trauma' is too soft, and trauma theory doesn't go far enough in addressing the theological issues at stake. He prefers to talk about evil.

" 'We have to move more into the moral, ethical and spiritual dimension and use the term evil,' said Dr. Means, co-author of the book Trauma & Evil: Healing the Wounded Soul.

" 'Evil is a process that destroys the selves and souls of people,' he said. 'If we are going to turn around patterns of abuse and violence, we have to start dealing with what we do that hurts one another so badly. My hope is that putting the religious focus on the subject of evil will do that.' ..."

Book List

1 items
Release date: 
September 21, 2000

This book helps those who provide care to victims of abuse and violence add to their knowledge base an understanding of evil. The authors "demythologize" evil...