Heartwounds: The Impact of Unresolved Trama and Grief on Relationships – Tian Dayton

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3/5 Stars

As a mental health professional, this was an easy and quick read. I could see myself assignment sections of this book to clients as well as the exercises in the back because it breaks down trauma in an easy to understand way, using simple language.

I also appreciated the brief sections about dissociation. Any recommendations for full books about it?

“Another common childhood defense mechanism is dissociation. Jeff, a member of our thearpy group represented in this book, learned to dissociate from the emotional pain he felt at being ignored and verbally abused by his father. As a smal boy he sat wide-eyed and motionless through his father’s drunken verbal lashings. When the pain of his father’s disgust became too great, he took the only route available to him as a child who was not allowed to talk back or run away: He ran away inside of himself by disappearing into a world of daydreams and fantasies; he dissociated. As an adult, he still dissociates when he feels emotional pain. It has become such a habit of mind that he now has trouble even identifying what he is feeling and putting it into words. This keeps him from being able to communicate his needs to another person so that they can be known and talked over” (42-43).

The inclusion of trauma activating intense connections to others, the dance of being unable to find a healthy balance of connection and separateness, as well as picking fights to feel emotionally connected I think are critical to understanding how trauma not only affects the self/thoughts, but relationships.

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