Sunday, July 8, 2012
Childhood Trauma and Intimate Relationships
Childhood trauma is far more common than most people realize. According to Peter Levine a leading expert in childhood trauma the home is where the most occurrences of domestic violence and trauma occur. It is estimated that 27% of all violent crime involved family on family violence, 48% involved acquaintances. Children if not directly involved in the domestic violence were witness to it. Children can be in state of wide eyed terror, or typically witnesses or sees a loved one being brutalized, often fears the worse than the one attacked. A child can resort to hiding under a table or perhaps they can be frozen to a wall, in an attempt to become invisible. For example, a child develops a need to stay small, silent and still. The child becomes accustomed to being in a frozen state of fear. Consequently, the long term outcome of childhood trauma can be anxiety, panic attacks, and depression along with a host of other psychological problems.
Childhood trauma can show up and continue to show up months, years, and sometimes decades after an incident, this is why professional help is essential in order to overcome these problems. Breaches of trust in childhood can result in many people who stop trusting all others and began to view people as inherently out to harm them. How can these traumatized people have intimacy or close relations with their wives, husbands or children? The truth is, without help, they can’t. Psychotherapy allows the therapist and the individual to be able to deal with the past in order to re-gain a feeling of safety and self esteem.
Psychotherapy allows people to deal wit the past in order to change the present. Many people have had to survive through traumatic or painful times in their lives and could not allow themselves to feel the pain at the time, or didn’t know how to deal with the pain or trauma on their own. This unhealed trauma’s can have a dramatic impact on this person’s adult life. The walls or barriers these people have erected in order to survive in the past, no longer serve the same purpose and are actually harmful to their present situation, especially close intimate relationships. In treating such cases, psychotherapy, or counseling by a trained professional can be invaluable.