Understanding the Traumatic Injurious Aftermath

The survivors call it ‘aftermath’ – or more accurately ‘after wrath’ – the specific presentation of their unique trauma injury.

As the President of the Association and CEO of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction, I have been engaged in trauma treatment of survivors for over 30 years. Other Board Advisors have their own histories of treatment that have collaborated to create an experienced advisory team bringing the most up to date treatment approaches in this genre.

The koans of trying to treat trauma survivors with unique trauma features without an existing treatment framework has been the process over 30 years. Our Board are experienced therapists, a neuropsychologist, psychopathology professionals, and even an attorney who have experience in the unique elements of Pathological Love Relationships and subsequent trauma. Additional outside therapist consultants have contributed to the treatment approaches that are taught.

What has been evident is that this sub-group of trauma survivors present unique and often undetected atypical presentations of trauma. The trauma produced by the culmination of effects of the partner pathology, what pathology does in relationships, and the personality science (Institute research) of survivor personality factors, all impact traumatic injury and its presentation.

Trauma professionals who are familiar with traumatic reactions and disorders need additional skills for identification of atypical presentations seen in this sub-group of trauma survivors. Unidentified atypical trauma symptoms have been misdiagnosed as a range of other conditions as well as theoretical assumptions as why those symptoms were created. Atypical trauma has spawned theoretical assumptions more closely aligned with traditional domestic violence theories even if not fully applicable and has not embraced the personality science of these trauma survivors’ trait elevations that have produced relational and traumatic reactions unrelated to DV theories such as ‘learned helplessness’ or ‘codependency.’ At the heart of not only the relationship dynamics but also the trauma reactions, are the unusual personality elevations that have contributed to the atypical trauma reaction and the complexity of the trauma treatment.

The Association’s ‘Model of Care Treatment’ approach is designed for trauma-specific intervention and treatment unique to survivors of Cluster B/psychopathy partners.