REPAIRING BROKEN BONDS. Helping Couples Heal From the Trauma of Disclosure Everett Bailey, PhD Stacy Hall, LPC. Trauma Related Symptoms. “Trauma, particularly trauma inflicted on person by another, constitutes a violation of human connection” (Herman, 1992).
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Helping Couples Heal From the Trauma of Disclosure
Everett Bailey, PhD
Stacy Hall, LPC
“Trauma, particularly trauma inflicted on person by another, constitutes a violation of human connection” (Herman, 1992)
“Couples recovery explained more of the variance than any other factor in accounting for recovery”
“Sex addiction is an intimacy disorder. The inability to be vulnerable, to trust anyone due to attachment injuries”
(Carnes, CSAT training)
“The essence of healing the ‘violation of the human connection’ is the creation of the secure bond with a significant other. This other can then provide a safe haven and a secure base for lifelong learning and growth” (Johnson, 2002)
1. Safety and Stabilization
2. Coming to Terms with Traumatic Memories
3. Integration and Moving On
Psycho-education, sobriety contract, boundaries, treatment plan, accountability plan, polygraph, 12-step, sponsor.
Help clients “metabolize” trauma. Emotionally process the anger, hurt, fear and shame from the disclosure.
Put trauma in context of couples interactive cycle. Help couple learn from this.
Help them to develop a greater capacity for healthy attachment by changing the couples previous negative interactive cycle.
Trauma Related Responses:
1. Have clients talk to the therapist, initially.
2. Help clients identify and express primary emotions. Hurt for the IP and fear for the OP before sharing.
3. Healing happens as clients express affect in attachment related terms.
4. Reframe partners behavior/emotion in terms of attachment need.
5. Give couple corrective emotional experience
6. Healing from trauma is state dependent. Where in an emotional state of hurt/fear they are able to turn to the other and experience them as a source of comfort and support. I am not alone.
Help IP identify the primary emotion of fear, underneath the shame and connect it to the attachment need of losing the relationship
Sue Johnson, Ph.D.
Examples of Accessing Primary Emotions: