If we discover that childhood trauma is negatively influencing our adult lives, what do we do about it? Will remembering what happened to us and understanding how that experience continues to affect us actually help? As someone who has been a therapist for more than … Continue readingYour history is not your destiny.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, you know that the United States is a deeply divided country. Our views on guns, immigration, climate, gender, and many other issues have become polarized, our public discourse marked by passionate intensity but … Continue readingSpare the Rod: Still Debating a Settled Question
Though some observers argue that we live in a “secular age,” religion remains central in many Americans’ lives. More than half of us describe ourselves as “religious” and worship regularly in churches, temples, and mosques, mostly churches. The number was even larger in previous generations, … Continue readingReligious Trauma in Childhood
Today’s New York Times features ten personal stories of local Catholics rocked by recent revelations of widespread clerical abuse and systematic concealment of that abuse by their church. Two of the stories deal directly with trauma and raise one of the most difficult issues confronting … Continue readingFaith in the Aftermath of Clerical Abuse
It might seem obvious, given the prevalence of childhood trauma among addicts, that the recovery industry should be exceptionally trauma-sensitive. If half to two-thirds of substance abusers have histories of childhood trauma, then surely the institutions entrusted with their care should lead the way in … Continue readingChildhood Trauma and Addiction Treatment
Given how childhood trauma damages the developing brain, no one should be surprised that survivors struggle with addiction. Study after study has found dramatically elevated rates of addiction among adults with a history of childhood trauma–and a high correlation between the amount of trauma and … Continue readingChildhood Trauma and Addiction
Last week, the Associated Press reported the story of Kristy Johnson, who is suing her father for sexually abusing her as a child. Melvin Kay Johnson, a well-respected Mormon educator, began assaulting his daughter when she was six years old and continued until she left … Continue readingKristy Johnson: A Survivor in the News
In depicting childhood abuse and its consequences, television often does as much harm as good. On the upside, it helps raise awareness of abuse, an important first step to developing policies and programs to combat it. On the downside, television does not often handle complexity … Continue readingWatching Patrick Melrose
Maintaining healthy boundaries is a challenge for all of us these days, especially in the face of new technologies. As with conventional advertising, companies such as Facebook and Google have put a lot of money and research into engineering boundary failure. Mechanisms to capture our … Continue readingTechnology is the front line of boundary control.