If you feel stuck in an abusive relationship, Health for Life Counseling in Grand Rapids, MI, wants to help you find the way out of this unhealthy trauma bond. The longer you stay, the more confused or even guilty you may feel. Abuse is not your fault. You are not alone, and you don’t have to do this by yourself.
What Is Trauma Bonding?
Even if you’ve never heard the phrase “trauma bond,” you may be familiar with the term Stockholm syndrome. This refers to the victim of abuse or imprisonment somehow developing positive feelings for the abuser.
This may sound like something out of a fiction novel at first. If you take a closer look at your own relationships or the relationship of a loved one you are concerned about, fiction can become reality pretty quickly.
Signs Of Trauma Bonding
- You Have PTSD Symptoms
- You Have Been Humiliated, Gaslighted, Or Criticized By Your Abuser
- You Deny Or Rationalize Abuse
- You Don’t Feel Like You Can Make Decisions About Money Or Work
- Your Abuser Decides When You Eat & Sleep
- You Feel Grateful For Kindnesses Between Episodes Of Abuse
- You Try To Anticipate What Your Abuser Needs Or Wants
- You Isolate Yourself To Avoid Problems With Friends & Family
- You Are Afraid To Leave Your Abuser
What Causes A Trauma Bond?
Those who cause trauma can be very calculated in trauma-bonding situations. You will be in fear of punishment one moment and on the receiving end of praises, gifts, or apologies the next. This intermittent positive reinforcement creates a bond you may mistake for care or love. You may start to feel like protecting your abuser and like others just don’t understand.
- Then, the trauma-causing cycle repeats.
- Victims Perceive Their Abusers As Having More Power
- Abusers Repeatedly Inflict Psychological Trauma Upon Victims
- Every Once In A While, Abusers Will Apologize, Give Gifts, Etc.
- This Positive Reinforcement Creates An Attachment With Victims
What Are Proven Trauma-Informed Therapy Methods?
Fortunately, even if you feel stuck in this relationship, there are real, proven ways out. A trauma-informed therapist can help you identify the best methods for addressing this abusive conditioning and break the chains of this harmful, even potentially fatal, relationship.
How To Heal From Trauma Bonds
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – focuses on the present and teaches you skills you can use in your everyday life to change unhelpful thought patterns.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) – is a form of CBT that is especially useful for trauma and PTSD. The focus is on changing how you react and feel by changing how you think.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – is support-oriented therapy that focuses on your personal strengths.
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) – helps you break negative associations between everyday sensations and trauma in a safe, guided setting.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – calming, 60-90 minute sessions to help your brain’s neural network reprocess trauma and reduce the associated emotional intensity.
Get Help For Trauma Bonding In Grand Rapids
Health for Life Counseling in Grand Rapids, MI, is experienced in the treatment of trauma-related disorders, like trauma bonds. Get out while you still can. Contact us today to schedule your therapy consultation and take your first step towards freedom.