NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

How Trauma Affects Intimate Relationships

Emotional trauma can affect intimate relationships in ways that might be confusing or difficult to understand for both the trauma survivor as well as the partner or spouse of the survivor (see my articles: Overcoming Trauma With Experiential TherapyOvercoming a History Childhood Trauma That Impacts Adult Relationships,Before and After Psychological Trauma, How Past Psychological Trauma Lives on in the Present, and Untreated Trauma is a Serious Issue With Negative Consequences).

How Trauma Affects Intimate Relationships

How Trauma Affects Intimate Relationships
A person with a history of trauma can have one or more of the following symptoms:
  • A lack of interest or a decrease in physical and/or emotional intimacy
  • Emotional numbing and withdrawal
  • Ambivalence about the relationship
  • Difficulty trusting others, including loved ones
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Self doubt
  • Compulsive behavior, including an eating disorder, substance dependency, compulsive gambling, sexual acting out, etc.
  • A decrease of interest or avoidance of social situations
  • An increase in arguments and problems finding resolutions to problems
  • An inability to talk about problems
  • Nightmares and/or problem sleep
Getting Help in Therapy or Couples Therapy
If you or your partner have been traumatized, it's important to understand that it's not about "being weak" or a matter of "snapping out of it."

These symptoms don't go away on their own.  They require help from a licensed mental health professional who specializes in trauma.

A trauma therapist can help the traumatized individual work through trauma, whether it's a one-time event or developmental trauma which occurred in childhood.

Without help, the traumatized individual can continue to spiral down, which might can lead to the demise of the relationship due to the trauma-related symptoms.

In addition, traumatized individuals often tend to unintentionally pass on their traumatic symptoms to their children.

There are effective forms of trauma therapy, including EMDR therapy and Somatic Experiencing which can help individuals to overcome trauma so they can lead more fulfilling lives as individuals and in their relationship (see my articles: What is EMDR Therapy? and Somatic Experiencing: Allow Yourself to Feel Your Sadness).

Getting help in a timely manner can make the difference between saving or ending your relationship.  

About Me
I am a licensed NYC trauma psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, Somatic Experiencing and Emotionally Focused therapist who works with individuals and couples (see my article: The Therapeutic Benefits of Integrative Therapy).

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during regular business hours or email me.

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