Burke, Theresa
16 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Theresa Burke, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist and founder of Rachel's Vineyard, a post-abortion training and healing ministry that annually serves thousands of women and couples throughout North America and overseas.

In her book, "Forbidden Grief", Dr. Theresa Burke explores the cultural and psychological obstacles to post-abortion healing. She examines why friends and families erect walls of silence around a loved one's grief and reveals how we can and should listen to those who are struggling with past abortions.

For more information, contact:
Acorn Books
PO Box 7348
Springfield, IL, USA, 62791

Rachel's Vineyard is on the web at:



Abortion and Ruined Relationships

Human beings do not survive well as disembodied egos. Abortion creates an acute separation reaction that, on a variety of levels, divides women and men from each other, their aborted children, their families, their community, and God. Post abortion healing is effective because it restores connections and reconstructs the value of one's traditions and inner beliefs. Through healing, despair gives way to hope, isolation gives way to connectedness, and hatred of others and self gives way to the capacity and desire for authentic, self giving love.

Date posted: 2007-03-31

What's Eating You?

Much of the focus in counseling attempts to give a person encouragement and permission to explore and experience that which she fears. When a woman experiences and expresses something she had previously tried to avoid, she loses some of her fear and sees that avoidance is not as necessary as she had thought. Healing of the abortion experience itself requires an intense journey of the body, mind, end spirit. Ongoing professional medical treatment and therapy support for the eating disorder are also an important part of recovery.

Date posted: 2006-01-17

Repeat Abortions

There is something quite troubling about "medical care" which responds to the patient without any questioning of the deeper things that may be going on within her. In modern medical practice, patients expect a health care professional to treat the whole person. For example, rather than simply continuing to perform repeated angioplasties on an obese patient suffering from heart disease, a doctor would recommend lifestyle changes to lessen the need for invasive medical procedures. But among abortion providers, a mindless submission to the mantra of "choice" has eviscerated any sense of obligation to ensure that abortion will actually help women rather than hurt them.

Date posted: 2005-09-05

Reenacting Trauma

Not once in all the years of psychotherapy, psychodrama, group and individual treatment did a single therapist pay any attention to Brianna's abortion or recognize it as a trauma worthy of discussion. Her story makes me wonder: Who is more disoriented? Brianna, with all of her personalities, or a medical community that refuses to acknowledge the trauma inflicted on this young girl in the name of "choice?"

Date posted: 2005-05-26

Memories Unleashed

In many cases, hidden memories are reflected through the post-abortive woman's body. Physical symptoms of pain or discomfort may arise when the woman is exposed to events or situations that are connected to her repressed traumatic memories. Women who felt excessive fear and anxiety during their abortions, for example, often feel the same queasiness or terror when reminder incidents arise.

Date posted: 2005-05-02

Abortion as a Traumatic Experience

Eleven months after her marriage, Lora thought her American dream had come true. She had a handsome husband, a home of her own, and now she was pregnant! She carefully planned how to tell her husband, John, the good news. She bought a tiny baby's bib, waited for a private moment together, and gently laid it upon his chest, offering him the gift of her child. Instead of rejoicing, John cursed at her. He insisted they weren't ready. They couldn't afford a baby. She would have to have an abortion. Lora was stunned.

Date posted: 2005-01-25

Connections to the Past

The past is like a great cave. It's easy to be afraid of what might be lying in all those dark corners. But when we fearlessly explore it and understand its terrain, we can mine it for precious gems and nuggets of gold. Those memories of mistakes, those experiences of trauma, which we were once afraid to explore, can be mined for nuggets of wisdom and empathy that will serve us well in the future. By exploring these dark crannies, these disturbing connections, we will discover the resolve and resources to better serve both others and ourselves.

Date posted: 2004-12-25

Mind Games

Women who suffer from post-abortion problems want to avoid and deny those problems while at the same time seeking resolution and peace of heart. These two needs are working at cross purposes. Avoidance behavior, conscious or unconscious, can sabotage a woman's desire to confront and resolve her problems. Conversely, avoidance behavior will be disrupted and challenged by the subconscious release of unexpected emotions or behaviors that are designed to draw attention to the unresolved problems.

Date posted: 2004-10-20

Maternal Confusion

Clarissa's experience is an example of how an abortion can become interwoven with issues concerning maternal identity. Here we will explore how abortion can affect a woman's perception of her own maternal nature and that of others.

Date posted: 2004-09-26

Gina's Story

The ignorance and denial exhibited in the story of the Davis family is typical of our society as a whole. Just as this ignorance and denial about the consequences of abortion were an obstacle in the way of Gina's recovery, they are also obstacles in the way of the healing and recovery of millions of women and men. It is equally tragic that the widespread ignorance and denial regarding abortion's consequences contribute to the problem of women being coerced into unwanted abortions.

Date posted: 2004-06-21

Forbidding the Grief

Working through grief requires confronting one's loss, admitting the loss, grieving the loss, learning to live with the loss, and working through the grief to find a renewed sense of meaning or purpose beyond the loss. Each of these processes must be successfully completed in order to resolve one's grief.

Date posted: 2004-05-03

Hiding the Truth

In reality, abortion is a deeply private and complex experience. For most women, their feelings and memories about an abortion simply do not lend themselves to casual conversation. Women who will enthusiastically compare pregnancy and delivery stories over tea would never dream of talking about their feelings and memories related to past abortions.

Date posted: 2004-03-17

Broken Babies

Numerous studies have established a strong statistical link between a history of abortion and an increased risk of subsequent child abuse. That is why the belittling of children is all around us. Themes of abortion-related guilt, rage, and anger are pervasive in modern music, art, and films. I believe that many of these images reflect how the memory of aborted children haunts our society. The natural tendency to love and esteem babies has become a painful reminder of the unresolved grief of millions of women and men. To contain and control the unspeakable truth, the natural instinct to nurture and protect children is rejected, and in its place, the "evil baby" is envisioned as an object of mockery and the target of violence.

Date posted: 2004-03-15

Something Inside Has Died

The human mind has a tremendous capacity to repress undesirable feelings and re-channel them into more tolerable tortures. If we cannot find a way to work through the trauma with our conscious intellect, our unconscious mind will accomplish the task for us. Trying to cope with these shattered phantoms may invite the abuse of alcohol or drugs, and a vicious, unrelenting cycle of self-destruction, heaping insult on top of injury until awareness of the original problem has been annihilated.

Date posted: 2004-02-22

Sexual Abuse and Abortion

Nothing was ever created by abortion. It can only destroy. And like so many other tools of destruction, it can often destroy far more than we intend.

Date posted: 2003-10-13

A Time to Grieve, A Time to Heal

Grief can be healing. It signals our living and feeling in connection with others. It represents our vulnerability, our humanity. When we remember and mourn our losses, we free our souls to move beyond the pain.

Date posted: 2003-06-05