Relational trauma refers to the experience of being subjected to repeated emotional, physical, financial, or sexual abuse. This type of trauma can occur within any type of relationship, including parent-child relationships, romantic relationships, friendships, or professional relationships.

Relational trauma can have a profound impact on an individual’s sense of self and reality, self-worth, mental and physical health, executive functioning (working memory, planning, organizing, and complete tasks), ability to form healthy relationships, and their overall well-being. The effects of relational trauma can be long-lasting and can affect every aspect of an individual’s life.

Examples of relational trauma that I can help you with:

Narcissistic Abuse

which refers to any form of abuse inflicted by a narcissist with the aim of controlling and dominating others to satisfy their inflated sense of self and their need for power and admiration. Narcissistic abuse can manifest in different ways, including coercive control, psychological, physical, sexual, spiritual, or financial abuse. Narcissistic abuse can often have cyclical patterns of idealization, devaluation, discarding and hovering.

Parent-child relationship trauma

which refers to the emotional, psychological, and physical harm experienced by a child due to negative experiences or disruptions in their relationship with their primary caregiver. This trauma can result in various mental and physical conditions as well as an insecure attachment styles characterized by inconsistent or neglectful caregiving. This can lead to long-lasting effects cognitive development, self-esteem, intimacy, and trust issues as adults. Our early relationships with our primary caregivers can have a profound impact on the way we think, feel, and behave as adults. However, it’s important to note that with awareness, therapy, and supportive relationships, individuals who experienced parent-child relationship trauma can heal and learn to develop healthy relationships in the future.

Attachment Trauma

refers to a disruption in the important process of bonding within primary relationships. That trauma may be overt abuse or neglect, or it may be less obvious—lack of affection or response from the caregiver.

Betrayal trauma

Betrayal trauma is the result of the violation of a deep attachment, where there has been abuse, neglect, infidelity, deception, or breach of trust.

The common approach used to address relational trauma in therapy will be

Trauma-focused therapy
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) (More information)
Internal Family System
Attachment Theory
Emotion focused individual therapy
Psychodynamic Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Using a variety of different therapies allows Dr. Sadaf to help clients with:

Healing and recovery
provide a supportive and compassionate space for individuals to work through their relational trauma
develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage triggers and emotions related to trauma
teach skills such as mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and boundary setting, which can be crucial for managing anxiety, triggers, and stress related to the trauma.
build resilience
move forward towards a healthier and more fulfilling life
Process experiences, emotions, and thoughts related to the trauma, which can reduce the intensity and frequency of their symptoms
Improve communication skills

Relational trauma can have a profound impact on our lives. These experiences can leave us feeling isolated, powerless, and confused. They can affect our ability to form healthy relationships and impact our overall sense of well-being.

Relational trauma is a complex and sensitive issue that requires specialized treatment. Through therapy, individuals who have experienced relational trauma can gain insight into their experiences, develop coping skills, and work towards healing and recovery.

A skilled therapist can play a vital role in helping individuals who have experienced relational trauma. The therapist can provide a safe and supportive environment for the person to process their experiences, feelings, and emotions. They can help the person identify the impact of the trauma on their life and relationships and work towards healing and recovery.

The outcome of therapy for relational trauma can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the trauma, the individual’s willingness to engage in therapy, and the type of therapy used. However, with the right support and approach, therapy can lead to significant improvements in an individual’s mental health and well-being.

Would you like to gain insight into your experiences, develop coping skills, and work towards healing and recovery with the support of a skilled therapist?

Are you ready to take the first step towards reducing the intensity and frequency of your symptoms and improving your communication skills?

While the healing journey may be challenging, the support and guidance provided by a therapist can help individuals build resilience, find hope, and move forward towards a more fulfilling life