Archive for September, 2013


What an amazing book this is. If only all therapists were as educated and competent but Docs like her are like the 3%. Most docs do not know how to help people. The new “therapies” without the process that Judith Herman explains in her book do nothing or little and only for certain people. For some those therapies are a waste of money. Specially useless is CBT for people who suffered severe emotional neglect besides abuse.

I consulted with a lot of doctors ALL were useless except for one who was not too bad probably due to being very ethical and graduated from a top University. But even him was not able to help me much. I have helped myself a lot more through education, reading, information, self-awareness, self-monitoring, self-observation.

In this book Judith Herman says you can not recover alone. True. But bad therapy is worse, much worse than no therapy. Unless someone has the means to keep looking for a competent Doctor is very difficult. I have heard of people going through 50 doctors with no help at all. I have consulted with about 20…99% were like throwing money down the garbage.

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/530025-trauma-and-recovery

 Trauma and Recovery Quotes

Trauma and Recovery   Trauma and Recovery by Judith Lewis Herman   3,287 ratings,  4.27  average rating, 155 reviews   buy a copy

    Trauma and Recovery Quotes       (showing 1-8 of 8)
“Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom.
But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood――establishing independence and intimacy――burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships.
She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she reencounters the trauma.”   ―     Judith Lewis Herman,     Trauma and Recovery    
     tags:        child-abuse,        childhood-suffering,        childhood-trauma
“In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens.”   ―     Judith Lewis Herman,     Trauma and Recovery    
“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.”   ―     Judith Lewis Herman,     Trauma and Recovery    
     tags:        denial,        post-traumatic-stress,        psychotherapy,        taboo,        trauma,        truth
“Over time as most people fail the survivor’s exacting test of trustworthiness, she tends to withdraw from relationships.  The isolation of the survivor thus persists even after she is free.”   ―     Judith Lewis Herman,     Trauma and Recovery    
“Combat and rape, the public and private forms of organized social violence, are primarily experiences of adolescent and early adult life.  The United States Army enlists young men at seventeen; the average age of the Vietnam combat soldier was nineteen.  In many other countries boys are conscripted for military service while barely in their teens.  Similarly, the period of highest risk for rape is in late adolescence.  Half of all victims are aged twenty or younger at the time they are raped; three-quarters are between the ages of thirteen and twenty-six.  The period of greatest psychological vulnerability is also in reality the period of greatest traumatic exposure, for both young men and young women.  Rape and combat might thus be considered complementary social rites of initiation into the coercive violence at the foundation of adult society.  They are the paradigmatic forms of trauma for women and men.”   ―     Judith Lewis Herman,     Trauma and Recovery    
     tags:        combat,        ptsd,        rape,        trauma
“The guarantee of safety in a battering relationship can never be based upon a promise from the perpetrator, no matter how heartfelt. Rather, it must be based upon the self-protective capability of the victim. Until the victim has developed a detailed and realistic contingency plan and has demonstrated her ability to carry it out, she remains in danger of repeated abuse.”   ―     Judith Lewis Herman,     Trauma and Recovery    
“The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.
Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims.
The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom.
The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called “doublethink,” and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call “dissociation.” It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .”   ―     Judith Lewis Herman,     Trauma and Recovery    
     tags:        abuse-unspeakable,        atrocities,        consciousness,        crime,        denial,        dissociation,        dissociative,        ghosts,        graves,        healing,        horrible,        humanity,        memory,        mind,        murder,        power,        ptsd,        rape,        recovered-memory,        recovery,        repressed-memory,        society,        survivors,        trauma,        truth,        victims,        violations,        wisdom
“Underlying the attack on psychotherapy, I believe, is a recognition of the potential power of any relationship of witnessing. The consulting room is a privileged space dedicated to memory. Within that space, survivors gain the freedom to know and tell their stories. Even the most private and confidential disclosure of past abuses increases the likelihood of eventual public disclosure. And public disclosure is something that perpetrators are determined to prevent. As in the case of more overtly political crimes, perpetrators will fight tenaciously to ensure that their abuses remain unseen, unacknowledged, and consigned to oblivion.
The dialectic of trauma is playing itself out once again. It is worth remembering that this is not the first time in history that those who have listened closely to trauma survivors have been subject to challenge. Nor will it be the last. In the past few years, many clinicians have had to learn to deal with the same tactics of harassment and intimidation that grassroots advocates for women, children and other oppressed groups have long endured. We, the bystanders, have had to look within ourselves to find some small portion of the courage that victims of violence must muster every day.
Some attacks have been downright silly; many have been quite ugly.  Though frightening, these attacks are an implicit tribute to the power of the healing relationship. They remind us that creating a protected space where survivors can speak their truth is an act of liberation. They remind us that bearing witness, even within the confines of that sanctuary, is an act of solidarity. They remind us also that moral neutrality in the conflict between victim and perpetrator is not an option. Like all other bystanders, therapists are sometimes forced to take sides. Those who stand with the victim will inevitably have to face the perpetrator’s unmasked fury. For many of us, there can be no greater honor.  p.246 – 247 Judith Lewis Herman, M.D. February, 1997”   ―     Judith Lewis Herman,     Trauma and Recovery

My family was and is a breeding soil for sickening people with sexual and emotional abuse and EXPERTS at invalidation.

Invalidation is to reject, ignore, mock, tease, judge, or diminish someone’s feelings. It is an attempt to control how they feel and for how long they feel it.
Constant invalidation may be one of the most significant reasons a person with high innate emotional intelligence suffers from unmet emotional needs later in life.(1) A sensitive child who is repeatedly invalidated becomes confused and begins to distrust his own emotions. He fails to develop confidence in and healthy use of his emotional brain– one of nature’s most basic survival tools. To adapt to this unhealthy and dysfunctional environment, the working relationship between his thoughts and feelings becomes twisted. His emotional responses, emotional management, and emotional development will likely be seriously, and perhaps permanently, impaired. The emotional processes which worked for him as a child may begin to work against him as an adult. In fact, one defintion of the so-called “borderline personality disorder” is “the normal response of a sensitive person to an invalidating environment” (2)
Psychiatrist R.D. Laing said that when we invalidate people or deny their perceptions and personal experiences, we make mental invalids of them. He found that when one’s feelings are denied a person can be made to feel crazy even they are perfectly mentally healthy. (Reference)
Recent research by Thomas R. Lynch, Ph.D. of Duke University supports the idea that invalidation leads to mental health problems. He writes “…a history of emotion invalidation (i.e., a history of childhood psychological abuse and parental punishment, minimization, and distress in response to negative emotion) was significantly associated with emotion inhibition (i.e., ambivalence over emotional expression, thought suppression, and avoidant stress responses). Further, emotion inhibition significantly predicted psychological distress, including depression and anxiety symptoms.) (Reference)
Invalidation goes beyond mere rejection by implying not only that our feelings are disapproved of, but that we are fundamentally abnormal. This implies that there is something wrong with us because we aren’t like everyone else; we are strange; we are different; we are weird.
None of this feels good, and all of it damages us. The more different from the mass norm a person is, for example, more intelligent or more sensitive, the more he is likely to be invalidated. When we are invalidated by having our feelings repudiated, we are attacked at the deepest level possible, since our feelings are the innermost expression of our individual identities.
Psychological invalidation is one of the most lethal forms of emotional abuse. It kills confidence, creativity and individuality.
Telling a person she shouldn’t feel the way she does feel is akin to telling water it shouldn’t be wet, grass it shouldn’t be green, or rocks they shouldn’t be hard. Each persons’s feelings are real. Whether we like or understand someone’s feelings, they are still real. Rejecting feelings is rejecting reality; it is to fight nature and may be called a crime against nature, “psychological murder”, or “soul murder.” Considering that trying to fight feelings, rather than accept them, is trying to fight all of nature, you can see why it is so frustrating, draining and futile. A good guideline is:

First accept the feelings, then address the behavior.