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                                             History of Rachel's Vineyard

Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph.D. started one of the first therapeutic support groups for post-aborted women in 1986 after foundinbg The Center for Post Abortion Healing.

In 1994, Rachel's Vineyard: A Psychological and Spiritual Journey for Post Abortion Healing was first published.  It was a unique support group model for counsellors, offering a very concrete, emotional experience for women who were grieving the loss of their aborted children.  In 1995, Theresa adapted and expanded the curriculum into a format for weekend retreats.  Soon individuals seeking healing began to travel from other states to experience this very effective healing process.

Without a budget, office or advertising, Rachel's Vineyard became a grassroots national outreach.  By word of mouth only, the retreats began to spread across the country because of the retreat's dramatic effectiveness, from 18 retreats in 1999 and growing to 35 retreats in 2000.  In 2003, Rachel's Vineyard became a ministry of Priests for Life and its board was structured accordingly.

Currently, Rachel's Vineyard has grown to over 1000 retreats annually, held in 48 states and 57 countries, with many new sites in development.

Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph.D., has lectured and trained professionals nationally on the subject of Post Abortion Healing.  Rachel's Vineyard Ministries offers an annual Leadership Training Conference specifically designed for those who currently use the Rachel's Vineyard Program.  She also trains retreat teams in the method and process.


Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion

It's Time to Listen and Help 


Forbidden GriefThrough individual counseling and group therapy sessions, Dr. Burke has devoted the last 18 years to the research and treatment of women struggling with post-abortion issues. Many of the women she treated came to her because other therapists refused to believe that an abortion could cause significant trauma. Other women came to her because their family and friends failed to understand the reality of their pain and suffering. 

In Forbidden Grief, Dr. Burke explains the importance of listening to those who are struggling with past abortions, and suggests ways we can create a more understanding and healing society, where women will no longer be required to hide their pain. 

Drawing on the experience and insights of hundreds of her clients, Dr. Burke shows how repressed feelings may be acted out through self-destructive behavior, broken relationships, obsessions, eating disorders, parenting difficulties and other emotional or behavioral problems. 

Abortion causes conflict. It fragments political parties, churches, schools, neighborhoods and families. These conflicts mirror the division within the post-abortive person. Many women have said they faced a daily, internal battle between condemning themselves and defending their choice. 

Forbidden Grief gives the reader a better understanding of the nature and origin of unresolved abortion issues and what steps can be taken to find healing. 

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