Trauma Bonding 101: Signs, Effects & Recovery

Trauma Bonding 101: Signs, Effects & Recovery

woman in deep thought | New Chapter Psychotherapy | Online Therapy Across Ontario

Trauma bonding is a psychological phenomenon where an individual forms an emotional connection with their abuser. The individual may develop sympathy or affection for the abuser, and this bond can develop over days, weeks or months. It is a bond that can become so intense that it is difficult to break.

Signs of trauma bonding

Victims of trauma bonding may isolate themselves from others as they become dependent on their abuser. They may feel conflicted, struggling to reconcile the abuser’s harmful actions with their feelings of attachment. This roller coaster of emotions can be intense.

Victims of trauma may be so worried about upsetting the abuser that they do everything to try to please them. They may fear retaliation from the abuser or think they cannot escape and stay attached to the abuser.

They can also fear being abandoned by their abuser, may defend their abuser and remain in harmful situations out of a desperate need for connection. This leads to a stronger and deeper trauma attachment. If you are experiencing these signs, you may be a victim of trauma bonding.

Effects of Trauma Bonding

As a victim of trauma bonding, you may be terrified of experiencing uncontrollable flashbacks or triggers. You may worry that you can’t have healthy and fulfilling relationships. You may even agonize that you pass down the legacy of pain and dysfunction to your future children. Because of these fears, you may find it difficult to trust your judgment and isolate yourself from others, avoiding any possibility of a connection.

The ongoing emotional distress may lead to a diminished quality of life and mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can also lead to poor sleep, chronic pain and autoimmune diseases. Due to the deep-rooted effects, seeking a reliable, long-lasting solution is essential.

Trauma Bonding Recovery

In your journey to recovery, you may have tried suppressing your emotions but found it very exhausting. Distracting yourself may have seemed to work, but it is just a temporary escape from your pain. You may have tried reading self-help books, but they seem generic and do not address your unique situation. While these options provide temporary relief, they do not offer the long-lasting healing solution you deserve.

Trauma therapy will help you process traumatic experiences to reduce your symptoms, improve overall functioning and increase your quality of life.

One type of trauma therapy is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which helps people examine how they make sense of what is happening around them and how these perceptions affect how they feel.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), another effective form of therapy, encourages persons to briefly focus on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories.

Looking for The Right Trauma Therapist?

Starting trauma therapy is a significant step and takes a lot of courage. Know that you are taking a crucial step towards healing and growth.

At New Chapter Psychotherapy, our therapy practice is a sanctuary where you can feel entirely comfortable expressing your emotions with compassionate therapists who are aligned and attuned to your personal journey. Our team of compassionate and highly skilled therapists brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to support you on your unique path to self-awareness, growth and a satisfying life. We recognize that each individual’s journey is unique. That’s why we create personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs to maximize the effectiveness of your therapy experience.

We believe that true healing comes from addressing all aspects of your being. Our holistic approach encompasses the mind, body, and spirit, helping you find balance and inner peace in your life.

We gently guide you toward healing so you can experience a full and happy life.

logo_New Chapter Psychotherapy | Online Therapy Across Ontario

Providing in-person and virtual therapy in Ottawa and across Ontario. Appointments are available in both English & French.

get started

Request An Appointment