The Intersection of Biblical Lament and Psychotherapy in the Healing of Trauma Memories

  • June Frances Dickie UKZN


A study of biblical lament psalms can help present-day sufferers express their own pain to God, and this can result in personal, social, and biological healing. In this empirical study, Zulu “pain-bearers” first studied Psalms 3 and 13 and then wrote and performed their own laments, using the biblical laments as a model. The use of poetic form is shown to have advantages over narrative therapy approaches.

The empirical compositions and performances fit with the insights gained from cognitive psychotherapy approaches as well as the therapeutic steps proposed by Judith Herman. Moreover, apart from facilitating healing of the soul and interpersonal relations, the research insights of Cozolino and others suggest that lament can stimulate the biological healing of the brain, allowing for the healthy processing of the trauma memories.

Author Biography

June Frances Dickie, UKZN

Ph.D graduate, UKZN (2017); Postdoctoral researcher, UKZN (2018)

Bible Translation Consultant, Wycliffe South Africa


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