Working Through Sexual Abuse with Hope Part 1 with Dr. Jason Newsome
Welcome back JP Family! Today you are in for a treat. We have Dr. Jason Newsome with us. Dr. Newsome and Stephen met by chance from a Tweet. Dr. Newsome had just read Stephen’s book and replied to a tweet Stephen had made. They started talking from there and we are honored to have him on the show.
Dr. Newsome grew up in southern West Virginia in a poor community. As a child many don’t realize they are poor, especially when everyone in the community doesn’t have much. His parents taught him that hard work is the most important thing you can do a daily basis. He will never forget the days of working hard for what you have. It has given him the freedom to know that if he was to ever go broke, he would survive. That is not a fear of his and something that he holds close.
When Dr. Newsome was 22 years old, he lost his youngest brother. His brother had brain cancer and had a complication with the treatment. After the funeral service he was giving his last goodbyes to his brother while walking pass his casket. He turned around to walk away and came face to face, nose to nose, with the fifth man who had molested him when he was younger. This man was a family friend. He molested him multiple times between the age of 11 and 13. When Dr. Newsome saw him, he had no idea what to do. 5 seconds felt like 20 minutes. All emotions came to him in such a wave he can’t even recall all of them. His final action was one of maturity. He stuck out his own hand and shook that man’s hand. He simply walked away afterwards. That was the first step of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a process. Many Christians talk about forgiveness as something that is an instantaneous event. It’s not an easy process. The greater the trauma, the greater the process. Dr. Newsome began his process the day he came face to face with the man at his brother’s funeral. There was a point that the man represented all 5 abusers. He was able to forgive. He went on to study mental illness and understanding the world of abusers.
There is a cognitive change when abuse occurs to someone. There is a belief that the world is dangerous. It’s not a conscious thought but it’s the core of all assumptions. Once you have that belief, it is tough to trust people at that point. A person is always on guard and always trying to protect themselves.
There is a model of mental illness development that Dr. Newsome likes to teach his students. It is called diathesis stress model. This model states that in order for anyone to develop a particular mental disorder they must have a genetic predisposition for the disorder and enough life stress. It doesn’t have to be a 50/50 split between the two. If someone has more points towards a genetic predisposition, they don’t have to experience as much life stress to trigger the mental illness and vice versa. It is a very interesting and complex model but one that Dr. Newsome feels explains the development.
While Dr. Newsome was working in the medical field he was a part time associate pastor. People would come to him for counseling but there were things that were beyond his expertise. He would refer them to a specialist but many times they would not go. It was that point that he went for his master degree in counseling. He had no intent on actually practicing until he fell in love with it. He could see how much it was helping people. Many people seek counsel when they are at the end of the road and feel there is no other option. He loves helping that person move from that place of hurt towards a healthy life. He now has his own practice called Dayspring Counseling Center in West Virginia.
Dr. Newsome was giving so much great information that we have split his podcast into two. We are very excited for you to hear the second part! So make sure you tune in next time to continue this amazing talk with Dr. Jason Newsome. Until next time be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also keep sending in your questions. We are really enjoying hearing from you all! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next time!