Narcissistic and psychopathic abuse has long been associated with what is called ‘trauma bonds’ and also the condition that develops called, ‘cognitive dissonance.’ Why are these created and how are they connected?

Sandra L. Brown, MA’s book Women Who Love Psychopaths is the seminal book that launched the ‘narcissistic and psychopathic abuse’ field.

In this short book, this field pioneer gives an in-depth discussion about how cognitive dissonance is formed in these types of pathological relationships and how it is powerfully influential in the development of traumatic attachment known as ‘trauma bonds.’ However, unlike what is often proclaimed by other writers, her decades-long study of cognitive dissonance shows that therapists and survivors are focusing on the wrong aspects when trying to ‘break a trauma bond.’

In this book, Brown shares the neuroscience of traumatic attachment or ‘trauma bonds,’ including the sexual chemical bonds as well as how cognitive dissonance is the initial ‘glue’ that once trauma bonds are created, ‘holds’ the bond in place. She ‘busts’ the myths that recovery is about ‘going no contact’ to ‘break a trauma bond’ and the real recovery methods that must be utilized.

Utilizing real science including attachment, trauma, and neuroscience theories, Brown gives the first real science orientation on how these two symptoms of cognitive dissonance and trauma bonds are connected and what treatment for it must contain, gathered from her two decades of study about cognitive dissonance and narcissistic/psychopathic abuse.

This book is written from a trauma-theory and neuroscience focus and is written for the clinical therapeutic treatment community. While anyone is invited to read the book, survivors should understand that it contains clinical principles and discussions about in-depth topics. However, if a survivor is in treatment where a therapist is trying to ‘break a trauma bond,’ it may be helpful for them to better understand what the real scope of recovery is.

For anyone who has believed the myths of ‘breaking’ traumatic attachment, this book will refocus them on what is necessary for successful treatment and recovery.