Posts in Impact of Trauma
Escape From an Emotionally and Verbally Abusive Father

This article depicts the interview and story of Dianna, who grew up in the Middle East and escaped her emotionally and verbally abusive father when she was a young adult by emigrating to the United States. Because her father never acknowledged her pain, and most of her relatives never believed such abuse was possible from her father…

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Fear of Success

"Why are some people afraid to succeed but not to fail? Why are some more afraid of failure? How can one learn to embrace these two fears? What is the difference between them?" A young Canadian woman wrote to me recently with these inquiries. I thought they were excellent questions, and decided to share my thoughts and findings here.

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Rejection Hangover: Abandonment Anxiety

Stephanie met a man for their first date together, and it went very well. They talked for three hours, exchanged eye contact, laughed together, and had great chemistry. At the end of the evening, they agreed, “This was fun! Let’s meet again!”

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Compassion Fatigue

Medical professionals such as physicians, nurses, psychotherapists, and emergency workers who help traumatized patients may develop their own Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms as an indirect response to their patient’s suffering. This phenomenon has been referred to as compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization or secondary traumatic stress.

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Escape Paralysis

Many people wonder, “Why don’t kidnapping victims like Jacee Dugard try to escape when they have the chance? Why do they bond with their perpetrator?” Research shows that these behavioral patterns are typically experienced by sexually assaulted people; abuse, domestic violence, and incest victims; cult members; and those who survive kidnapping and hostage situations.

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The Foster Care System and Its Victims: Part 4

It would only be fair to mention that in my work with the foster care system, I met many wonderful foster agencies and foster families who sometimes went on to permanently adopt their foster children. Yet overall, it seems obvious that the foster care system does not work well, and the statistics of abusive foster families are too high.

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The Foster Care System and Its Victims: Part 2

Once placed in foster care, a child is not always guaranteed to be safe from abuse. In fact, Liftingtheveil.org cites a troubling statistic from one study, claiming that over 28% of children in New York alone are abused while in "the system."

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The Foster Care System and Its Victims: Part I

In most cases, that "someone" is a mandated reporter who sees bruises or other signs of physical or emotional abuse. Mandated reporters are those who work with children such as teachers, church leaders, daycare owners, Boy and Girl Scout leaders, therapists, and doctors. Other calls are made from "non-mandated reporters" such as neighbors and relatives. In all of these cases, when a call is made, Child Protective Services (CPS) is brought in.

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Growth and Recovery From Trauma

Because I so often focus on the variety and depth of trauma, I'd like to shift gears in this article and talk about the suffering that can also be an impetus for personal growth. This is not to say that we in the psychology field are proponents of trauma, or that we would ever wish a traumatic experience on anyone.

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Addicted to Success?

Recently I wrote an article about how trauma can cause some to harbor fears of success that keep them from achieving what they want and are capable of. On the other end of the spectrum lies those who need the adrenaline rush or have become "addicted" to the stimulation that comes with the stress of trying to excessively achieve high goals.

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