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childhood trauma

Trauma’s Rising Public Profile

By Wesley Gallagher Trauma. It’s a big word with many connotations. Terms like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have entered the American lexicon, tied to news of terrorist attacks or stories of combat soldiers. But trauma is something that is experienced in big and small ways by people in… Read More

How Psychodrama Heals Trauma

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, touted by Oprah Winfrey as one of the most important studies of our time, has successfully made the connection between emotional and psychological trauma in childhood and physical health problems later in life. In other words, what begins in the mind alters the… Read More

The Hollower: Childhood Emotional Neglect and Its Effects

Here’s an irony for you: neglect is neglected. In discussions of childhood maltreatment, neglect hovers in the background, included categorically (“abuse and neglect”) but rarely the main focus despite being more prevalent than abuse and just as damaging.[1] The reasons aren’t hard to spot. First, abuse and neglect often occur together,… Read More

Growing Up in the Shadow of Addiction

Children who grow up with addiction and the relational trauma that surrounds it can carry the imprint of that pain for the rest of their lives. And as adult children of alcoholics (ACoA), we can be very confused about just what we’re healing from and just how we should… Read More

Childhood Abuse, Complex Trauma, and Epigenetics

Epigenetics refers to the study of a natural phenomenon and to the phenomenon itself. Epigenetics is the study of the mechanisms that turn on and off the expression of our genes without altering the DNA sequence. Epigenetics is also used to refer to the changes in expression of our genes. Read More

The Dis-equilibrating Dynamics of an Addicted Family System

Visit the living room of the average family that is “living with,” or should I say “drowning in,” addiction and you are likely to find a family that is functioning in emotional extremes. Where feelings can explode and get very big, very fast or implode and disappear into “nowhere” with equal velocity. Where what doesn’t matter can get unusual focus while what does matter can be routinely swept under the rug. A family in which small, fairly insignificant behaviors can be blown way out of proportion while outrageous or even abusive ones can go entirely ignored and unidentified. Where things don’t really get talked about but instead become shelved, circumvented or downright denied. Read More