In Conversation with Mandy Cook

A therapist working with Religious Trauma

Mandy Cook is an integrative therapist based in Lisburn who focuses her work on the impact of religious trauma in the lives of people in Northern Ireland. An under-researched and often taboo subject, she hopes to bring more conversations into the public domain and build more resources for those experiencing this type of trauma. 

In this interview with Kirsten Kearney, Mandy explains the concept of religious trauma and discusses its prevalence here in NI. She outlines the symptoms and causes of religious trauma and talks about the physical, mental and spiritual damage that happens when LGBTQIA+ Christians are forced to choose between their faith and their identity. She talks about her own personal experience of being bisexual within a Christian environment and the cost that she suffered herself.

Suggested Questions:

  • Have you heard of religious trauma? What are your thoughts about this definition?
  • What do you think about the statistics in the talk and the impact on people of having to choose between faith and sexuality?
  • What do you think you could learn from hearing more LGBTQIA+ voices?
  • Do you have any fears about changing your mind or embracing an inclusive theology?
  • How would you describe the fruit that you’ve seen from the theologies you hold around sexuality?