The latest segment of “Author’s Corner” in America Tonight with Kate Delaney features Dr. Arline (Maust) Westmeier, author of the book Healing the Wounded Soul: Ways to Inner Wholeness (ReadersMagnet; 2020).
Dr. Westmeier and her husband, Karl, both served as missionaries with the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Colombia for 21 years. While serving as a school nurse and clinical counselor at the Seminario Bíblico Alianza de Colombia in the capital city, Bogota, she became increasingly aware of the need to integrate her secular training in psychology with her knowledge of and faith in God. She realized it takes more than just her secular knowledge to help students heal and recover from their traumatic past. As she was searching for a better way to help the students heal, Karl handed her a small pamphlet, which then gave her the insight she needed for her work.
Healing the Wounded Soul: Ways to Inner Wholenessis the first of four volumes that address healing in a specific area of life. It contains stories of individuals who had suffered various forms of trauma, stemming from abuse, growing up in dysfunctional families, and other traumatic life events, and their eventual healing. The book affirms God’s healing of the body, spirit, and mind, which is made possible only when one willingly searches out and admits the truth of their innermost thoughts and emotions, regardless of the cost.
“I found that people who read this (the book) by the time they came for counseling were about six sessions ahead,” Dr. Westmeier shared the impact her book has on its intended audience, “because they already knew more or less where the problem was.
“Before they read the book, they had no idea why they felt the way they did.”
In Healing the Wounded Soul, Dr. Westmeier explained that our memories are stored in the consciousness (“recorded usually on the right side [of the brain] as a video”) as pictures of scenes of what happened. We could compare them to a movie on a videocassette. Together with the scenes are recorded the emotions we felt at the time when the scenes took place. When we see or experience something that resembles a part of the stored memory, the original emotions are aroused and projected onto what we are experiencing at the moment. We re-experience what we felt at the time of the original experience.
Dr. Westmeier shared that people usually come and tell her about their traumatic past, “My father was an alcoholic, he beat me,” things like that.
“If Jesus would have walked into that situation at that time,” she would ask them,” what would he have done?” Most people she counseled would say, “He would have protected my mother, he would have protected me, and he would change my father.”
“Your memory, your mind use to feed that,” said Dr. Westmeier, referring to traumatic events. “It’s like a video that plays what’s happening there when he (the abusive father, or any source of trauma) came in. Every time you think of your father or something reminds you of your childhood, you see that video running in front of your mind, and you’re still scared. You still don’t have anyone to comfort you.
“We have to get Jesus into that video, so you can see how He would have protected you.”
Dr. Westmeier emphasized Jesus is the essential key to inner healing and recovery from trauma. “Jesus is the same,” she said about having helped intervene for people from different places and backgrounds. She, however, acknowledged that some people have trouble with imaging Jesus in their “videos.”
Make sure to listen to the whole interview.
To order Healing the Wounded Soul: Ways to Inner Wholeness or know more about Dr. Arline Westmeier and her other works, please visit her website www.arlinewestmeier.com .