The Betrayal Bond

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1997-11-01
  • Publisher: HLTH-CO
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Exploitive relationships can create trauma bonds--chains that link a victim to someone who is dangerous to them. Divorce, employee relations, litigation of any type, incest and child abuse, family and marital systems, domestic violence, hostage negotiations, kidnapping, professional exploitation and religious abuse are all areas of trauma bonding. All these relationships share one thing: they are situations of incredible intensity or importance where there is an exploitation of trust or power. In The Betrayal Bond Patrick Carnes presents an in-depth study of these relationships, why they form, who is most susceptible, and how they become so powerful. He shows how to recognize when traumatic bonding has occurred and gives a checklist for examining relationships. He then provides steps to safely extricate from these relationships. This is a book you will turn to again and again for inspiration and insight, while professionals will find it an invaluable reference work.

Author Biography

Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D., C.A.S., is a nationally known speaker on addiction and recovery issues. He is author of Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, Revised Edition (1992); Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict (1989); A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps: For All People in the Process of Recovery, Revised Edition (1993); and Don't Call It Love: Recovery from Sexual Addiction (1991). Experts regard his first book on family systems, entitled Understanding Us, as a classic in family education. It is now available in many foreign editions. Dr. Carnes is clinical director for sexual disorder services at The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona. The Meadows built its educational and therapeutic services for sexual disorders on the technology that evolved from Dr. Carnes's landmark study of the recoveries of 1,000 sex addicts. The New Age Journal described Don't Call It Love and the work summarized in it as "the best book on the market about addiction and its costs and consequences." His latest book, Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred, has been described by The New Times as creating "a new wave of understanding about sexuality." Dr. Carnes is the editor-in-chief of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, a Brunner/Mazel publication and the official journal of the National Council of Sexual Addiction/Compulsivity. Dr. Carnes also serves as a board member of the organization. Dr. Carnes serves on the national advisory board of the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders. The Academy is a national certification organization for clinical professionals, founded to determine standards of training and clinical experience in the field of addiction treatment. Previously, Dr. Carnes designed the sexual dependency unit at Golden Valley Health Center in Golden Valley, Minnesota. This unit was the first inpatient facility in the country for the treatment of sexual addiction. Dr. Carnes is the founding chairman of the board of directors for Cardinal Health Systems in Edina, Minnesota. Cardinal develops innovative diagnostic and educational systems for family practice and internal medicine physicians. Dr. Carnes was also director of development for human services at Fairview-Southdale Hospital in Minneapolis. His responsibilities included broadening family programming concepts in mental health and pastoral care. He also was director of the hospital's Family Renewal Center, a program for families affected by chemical dependency, eating disorders and sexual addiction. In his role, he was a key co-investigator of a five-year study of family sexual abuse funded by the National Center of Child Abuse and Neglect. Dr. Carnes's experience includes three years of teaching in a counselor training program at Metropolitan Community College, Minneapolis; working for Personnel Decisions, Inc., a nationally known group of industrial psychologists; and serving as director of a crisis intervention and counseling agency for adolescents. Dr. Carnes has consulted with a wide range of groups within business, academic, military, social service and criminal justice settings. Dr. Carnes graduated in 1966 from St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, with a bachelor of arts. He received his master's degree in 1969 from Brown University, and a doctorate in counselor education and organizational development from the University of Minnesota in 1980.


from Chapter 1 After a traumatic experience, the human system of self-preservation seems to go onto permanent alert, as if the danger might return at any moment. —Judith Herman, Trauma and RecoveryLois was only twenty-two. Fresh out of college with a business degree in hand, she had landed a fabulous job with a large printing firm. She was ecstatic. She worked hard. The company gave her a car. She was attractive and fun. Her hard work and enthusiasm made up for her inexperience. Plus, she had support. Her boss, the marketing director, was also young by many people+s standards. Nearing thirty, she already had eight years of business experience. The company had grown dramatically and many chalked it up to her skill and untiring efforts. She took Lois under her wing and they became good colleagues and friends. One day the marketing director left the office in tears. A memo came around saying she had resigned. Lois tried to reach her at home but there was no response to the messages she left. The president of the company asked Lois to come to his office. He talked of his sadness that the marketing director was no longer with the company. He also said that he now had a problem; he had no one to run marketing. He offered Lois the job. Lois immediately accepted. She had mixed emotions because of the loss of her supervisor and because little was known about why she left, just the tears. Yet Lois knew this was a tremendous opportunity for her. The president told her that he had taken a chance on her previous supervisor being so young and it worked out well. Lois received a bonus and a significant raise. She threw herself into her work. A week later the president asked Lois to his office to review her first week+s efforts. Lois could tell he was not totally pleased with what she had done but was unsure what he wanted. Then he launched into a description of what made her predecessor successful. Critical were her former bossÆs ôspecialö relationships with customers. In fact, for the buying agents of their key accounts she would perform oral sex. ThatÆs how the company kept business. As he talked, Lois went numb with disbelief. She came out of it when he said that their customers liked office sex in certain ways and he would show her how. Then he approached her. Lois stood up and told him that she would not do this for any price. She grabbed her personal belongings and left the company in tears. She was devastated. Friends and family gathered around Lois. They found her a therapist. The therapist said that she had experienced an assault and would need to work it through or her life would suffer. Lois pulled herself together and responded by saying that it was only a proposition and she would simply forget about it. The therapist was right. About a month after leaving her job, Lois started having nightmares about the company president and his office. She had difficulty motivating herself to find work. Interviews went badly. She moved back in

Excerpted from The Betrayal Bond by Patrick Carnes
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