Chronic exposure to childhood abuse or neglect can reshape our personalities around the pathology of trauma.

We may be angry, suicidal, and either obsequious or engaging in risky or self-destructive behaviors. We can be dissociative, with amnesia for traumatic events. And we can feel ineffective, damaged for life, over-responsible for our problems, and consequently full of shame.

Relationally, we may find it hard to trust anyone, hard to believe that anyone can understand us, and be prone to revictimization (if you can’t trust anyone, you don’t know what trustworthy looks like). We can be untrustworthy, from being unable to keep commitments to being outright violent.

We may feel that either we are hopeless or the world is. We may have little tolerance for or ability to feel happiness.

– Robin Shapiro

“I am drawn to trauma therapy because it offers me an opportunity to do something about the brokenness all around us. Doing this work is an experience of confronting that brokenness head-on and in its place restoring wholeness”

– Deborah Woolley