November 28, 2020

Dear Therapists: A Letter from an Adult with Childhood Trauma.

As a person who has been in therapy for five years, I need to say something to therapists.

I am grateful for what I have learned, but I must let you know something.

Almost none of you are actually “trauma-informed,” and I don’t understand why.

You learn about addictions, couples therapy, and so on in school, but why don’t you learn about childhood trauma?

You’re so quick to slap the label of Borderline Personality Disorder on the client with structural dissociation, and not ask any questions.

There is nothing that infuriates me more than to meet another childhood trauma survivor that’s been abandoned by a therapist.

It is traumatizing to this population, and it really needs to stop.

People with attachment trauma do not need lines drawn in the sand that suddenly show up out of nowhere.

Rather, they need consistent compassion, clear and loving boundaries from the start, and a place to feel safe.

They need you to hear them.

They need you to put away your DSM-5 and not force them to look at you or be any different than they are.

They need you to hold space.

They need you to meet them where they are.

They need to you to understand the effects of adverse childhood experiences, and what it’s like to live with complex PTSD.

We’ve been dismissed and discarded all of our lives.

We seek help and support in therapy, not abandonment and being placed in a submissive role of another power dynamic.

Hold our hearts and all of our fractured selves with care. I am begging all therapists to pick up Janina Fisher’s book, Healing the Fractured Selves of Trauma Survivors, and do not list yourself as a trauma specialist if you’re not ready to work with dissociation, attachment trauma, attach/cry for help, and other behaviors of trauma survivors.

This population deserves better treatment, and I won’t stop writing about it until this happens.


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