Therapy

 

Christopher Frechette, Licensed Certified Social Worker, is a childhood trauma therapist working in the practice of Patrick Teahan, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. This practice offers primarily group psychotherapy to create healing communities of adult survivors of childhood trauma who are collectively working on reclaiming intimacy and finishing childhood business. Individual (one-on-one) therapy is also available.

 

The model of therapy used was developed by Amanda Curtin, LICSW, a trauma specialist and group therapist. This model is convergent with the research of Judith Herman, Bessel van der Kolk, and Pat Ogden. It focuses on “re-parenting” a wounded inner child under two main ideas: finishing business with our parents and reclaiming intimacy.

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Christopher, who is a survivor of adverse childhood experience and active in 12-step recovery, underwent this same group therapy process to recover from his own childhood trauma. He draws professionally on his experience as a recovered childhood trauma survivor in creating therapeutic balance between healer and those seeking healing.

Christopher welcomes clients regardless of whether they are interested in exploring spirituality as part of their healing journey. He recognizes that some people grow up in religious environments that cause

significant injury in a variety of ways. Authoritarian forms of religion, like fundamentalism, can be especially injurious. Christopher has particular skills for supporting such adults in naming abusive experiences of religion and helping people to heal from the abuse. To his work with clients who want to explore their spirituality, Christopher brings skills and openness. He has decades of experience offering spiritual direction and pastoral care with diverse populations, including Christians of various communions and people with other religious and spiritual interests. Christopher welcomes people with LGBTQ+ identities, including those who may want to explore issues regarding their (negative or positive) experiences of religion. His interests in writing and lecturing include addressing the trauma that LGBTQ+ populations have sustained because of religious systems that reject them. While on the faculty at Boston College, he taught graduate courses on Grief and the Bible (co-taught with pastoral psychologist Melissa Kelley, PhD) and on Exploring Spirituality in Psychological Practice.

Speaker and Writer

 

As a speaker and writer, Christopher brings practical sensitivity to his research and publication at the intersection of biblical studies, spirituality, and psychology. He offers refreshing insights into ways in which biblical texts can provide resources for addressing loss and trauma, and he stands at the forefront among scholars who interpret biblical texts through the lens of trauma. He seeks to make biblical texts accessible by integrating biblical interpretation with psychological insights relevant to suffering, loss, trauma, and addiction. Christopher seeks to integrate his training in social work with work in biblical interpretation to produce resources that support personal and social transformation.

Training and Background

 

Christopher earned his Master of Social Work degree at Salem State University, his doctorate (Th.D.) in Old Testament at Harvard University, and his Master of Divinity degree at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (in Berkeley). He received advanced clinical social work training at the Veterans Administration Boston Healthcare Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Outpatient Clinic in Brockton, MA. He also trained with Amanda Curtin, LICSW in her model of group therapy for adults with childhood trauma. He served on the faculty of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry 2008–2014. After that, he held visiting faculty positions at St. Mary’s University (San Antonio) and College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA). Formerly a Catholic priest, and a Jesuit from 1992-2013, he has extensive pastoral experience, especially in prison settings, in Northern and Southern California and in Massachusetts. He offers spiritual direction but is not currently accepting new directees.