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A Licensed Professional Here to Guide You

If you grew up in a household where the people in charge were struggling to hold it together, your thoughts and feelings probably took a back seat.  To keep the pain at bay long enough to make it to adulthood, you had to do some pretty fancy footwork. Your more advanced moves might have included denial, rationalizing, or intellectualization.

"I don't have to feel...I'll just figure this out in my head."

Then out into the world you went, armed with your strategies, only to realize that the very tools that helped you to survive your early relationships cost you dearly in your adult ones. This is because defense mechanisms like denial and rationalization permanently distort our feelings, making it impossible to take in what is actually happening around us.

Types of Trauma

  • Physical: Abuse disguised as discipline, possibly with the use of objects such as kitchen utensils, hairbrushes, or belts

  • Sexual: Can be covert - one parent's relationship with child is more important than the relationship with spouse; sexual talk/innuendos. Can be overt - exhibitionism, voyeurism, kissing, fondling, oral sex, intercourse

  • Emotional: Verbal abuse, social isolation, neglect, abandonment

  • Intellectual: Attacking the child's thinking

  • Spiritual: Parent is child's "higher power" or uses the concept of God to frighten

These experiences can lead to conditions ranging from codependency to post traumatic stress disorder.

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