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Communication, Leadership, Trauma Recovery & More

Workshops and Online Classes

Karen A. McClintock, M. Div., Ph.D. teaches workshops and online courses in family secrets, trauma recovery, and trauma-informed care. She is a former faculty member in the Psychology Department at Southern Oregon University, and she offers workshops for each of her seven books.

Any of the following workshops can be adapted for retreats, courses, or keynote addresses.

Trauma-Informed Pastoral Care

This workshop equips leaders for the demands of today’s pastoral care.  Using materials presented in the books, Trauma-Informed Pastoral Care, and When Trauma Wounds: Pathways to Healing and Hope, the workshop draws on psychological and theological understandings of trauma and trauma healing.

Responding to a pandemic, communities damaged by natural disasters, violence toward people of color, and immigrants in their midst, clergy and laity can more confidently serve parishioners experiencing trauma. 

This online or in person workshop trains participants to use five proven steps as they assist trauma victims. 

It addresses transgenerational trauma and trauma legacies among oppressed and impoverished people in their communities.

Workshop participants learn specific types of healing strategies so that they are not overwhelmed or harming the people they sincerely want to help. 

Clergy and laity are trained to address and heal the inevitable secondary trauma they “catch” during their care for others.  

The Zoom version of this class can be offered over 5 weeks at 2 hours per session or as a single 6-hour, in-person day.

“The Reverend Dr. Karen McClintock provided a continuing education series on Trauma Informed Pastoral Care for pastors in the Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church. Karen’s teaching style is warm and engaging. Her immersion in the disciplines of psychology and theology are immeasurably helpful to pastors who invariably walk alongside parishioners who have experienced various forms of trauma. She is a much sought after speaker, teacher, and consultant in helping congregations heal from critical incidents such as trauma and spiritual leader misconduct. I highly recommend her as one of the nation’s top experts in this field.”

The Reverend Kathy T. Heustess, Pastoral Counselor and Clinical Social Worker, Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church

This workshop is based on the book Trauma-Informed Pastoral Care written by Karen McClintock.

Healthy Communication

What should be done when someone sends an anonymous email with harsh criticism of the pastor to 25 people in the congregation? How do you keep the prayer chain from becoming gossip-central? What can a congregation do to squelch rumors before they explode? How can a congregation teach members to be positive and respectful?

Participants will learn to understand the motivations for such behaviors and to STOP bad habits no matter how long they’ve been in place. 

In this workshop, participants will explore why people talk too much or too little, the relationship between knowledge and power, and how disclosure creates insider vs. outsider dynamics that limit new member participation.

“What do I do with what I know?” and other pressing leadership quandaries will be addressed. 

The workshop offers lay leaders and clergy concrete ways to reduce emotional triangulation, negativity, and change dysfunctional communication habits.  

This course is best in person over a 6–7-hour retreat or leadership training day and has also been adapted as a Zoom training.

“We’ve had strong positive feedback from leaders after Karen McClintock’s healthy communication workshops. She offered them tools to reshape the culture of two entirely different congregations. She used case studies from parish life to highlight healthy habits and identify potential sources of friction in churches. Karen assumes the good intentions and good will of church members, and helps them identify and manage subterranean gossip, passive resistance to new ideas, different leadership styles, deeply broken relationships, and open hostility. Her aim is to bring people together and help them stay relationally healthy!”

Revs. Bill and Mary Jacobs, Intentional Interim Ministers, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

This workshop is based on the book Healthy Disclosure written by Dr. Kibbie Ruth and Karen McClintock.

Transformational Leadership

Longstanding habits in many congregations include resistance to change, a few people ruling the whole, antagonists, and alliances.

This workshop is designed to train congregational leaders (new and ongoing) to lead from strengths, set healthy boundaries, and communicate effectively.

Congregational leaders are often recruited for tasks and begin leadership without job descriptions, terms of office, or on-the-job training. Avoiding frustration and burn-out in these positions increases congregational vitality.

When a clergyperson leaves suddenly or under duress, congregational leaders are called upon to heal the congregation, and to correct bad habits during an interim year. Any interim period allows for transformation in the culture of the community, and this workshop equips leaders to make significant lasting improvements in their congregations.  

This workshop is available to leaders as a retreat, all-day workshop, or online class. 

Family Secrets

Most families have secrets that conceal shame-based histories and experiences.  Some of these secrets become the subject of private or public memoirs.  Many of these secrets involve taboos about sex, criminal behavior, war trauma, ancestry, or other shame-filled pasts.  As people age, some of these secrets hold less power and others are so painful that they are kept hidden. 

This online, five-week course has been offered through the OLLI program (adult education) at Southern Oregon University.  It is available to small groups both in and outside of faith-based organizations. 

No one is expected to reveal secrets, and this is not intended to be group therapy.  It is an academic and interpersonal exploration of family dynamics and the motivations behind secret-keeping and revealing. 

Sex at Church: Secrets & Shame, Sanctuary & Ethics

This workshop is provided in response to the majority of congregations who have had (or are now having) conflicts about human sexuality issues.

One in three congregations has experienced the damage of sexual harassment or abuse.

This workshop affirms that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and celebrates sexuality. A presentation on the biochemistry of sex normalizes attraction and behavior. Participants will learn how to talk to each other about sexuality issues in congregations and to protect the congregation from sexual abuse.

Participants also come away from the workshop with a better acceptance of their own sexuality and awareness of ethical sexual boundaries.

Preventing Sexual Abuse in the Congregation

Clergy and lay leaders will find this workshop helpful in the development of congregational policies that protect individuals and congregations from sexual harassment and abuse.

Participants will learn skills to provide respect and model responsible touch behaviors. They will learn to create ethical boundaries for everyone, from greeters to youth counselors.

At the end of the day, leaders will have learned ways to eliminate risks and congregational vulnerability, celebrated sexuality, and learned what to do about past sexual secrets and registered sex offenders in the congregation.

This workshop is based on the book Preventing Sexual Abuse in Congregations written by Karen McClintock.

Becoming People of Grace

Using the traditional hymn “Amazing Grace,” participants in this workshop will learn to grace themselves and others in their families and congregations.

Each section of the day will involve participants in journal writing on themes from verses of the hymn. Small group sharing will follow.

The psychological and interpersonal damage of shame will be explored. Ways that shame affect creeps into our lives will be discussed and redressed. Shame affect in the life of congregations will also be examined. Christian theological perspectives and biblical materials that focus on grace will be highlighted. 

The book Shame-Less Lives, Grace-Full Congregations will be used as a guide for the course which is ideal for a retreat group but can also be taught online. 

Stay informed about Karen's latest releases & workshops

Karen A. McClintock
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