TBT: Relationships after Severe Trauma

Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Tucson

We all need connection. Interdependence, mutual relationships are crucial for our well being. However, for those who have experienced severe childhood trauma, relationships were also the source of betrayal, wounding and abuse. What does this mean then for those who have been severely abused by parents or caretakers as children? Or those who have dissociated, losing awareness of some aspects of early relationships? For example, those with dissociative identity disorder (DID) may have some parts of their system who only know about the “good mother” while others hold the memories of abuse and/or neglect.  In this way, dissociation can make evaluating who is healthy or safe and who is not more difficult.  This results in obvious and multiple complications in forming and maintaining later relationships.

Some types of relationship difficulties clients of mine describe fairly often include:

  • Feeling so wounded and mistrustful of people in general it doesn’t feel worth…

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