Lies and Deceipt

Children who are brought up in a family of lies and deceit can experience a range of negative effects on their emotional, psychological, and social development. Here are some potential consequences:

  1. Trust issues: Children who grow up in a family where lying and deception are common may struggle to trust others and may even become skeptical or paranoid.
  2. Emotional dysregulation: Children who are exposed to deception and dishonesty may find it difficult to regulate their own emotions, leading to emotional outbursts or mood swings.
  3. Low self-esteem: Children who are repeatedly lied to or deceived may develop feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness.
  4. Difficulty forming relationships: Children who grow up in an environment of lies and deceit may find it difficult to form healthy relationships and to trust others.
  5. Poor academic performance: Children who are exposed to high levels of stress and emotional turmoil at home may struggle academically.
  6. Mental health problems: Children who experience chronic stress and trauma in their childhood may be at higher risk of developing mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It’s important to note that every child’s experience is unique, and some children may be more resilient than others. However, growing up in a family of lies and deceit can have long-lasting effects on a child’s development and wellbeing. If you suspect that a child may be experiencing these issues, it’s important to seek professional help and support.

Q & A – what is the best treatment for emotional abuse?

The best treatment for emotional abuse will depend on the individual and their specific situation. However, some common treatments and strategies that may be effective for emotional abuse include:

  1. Therapy: A mental health professional, such as a psychologist, counselor, or therapist, can work with the person who has experienced emotional abuse to identify the effects of the abuse and develop strategies for coping with those effects. Therapy can also help the person develop healthier relationships in the future.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group for survivors of emotional abuse can be helpful for those who feel isolated or misunderstood. Support groups can provide validation, encouragement, and a sense of community.
  3. Safety planning: If the emotional abuse is ongoing or has the potential to escalate to physical violence, it may be important to develop a safety plan. This may involve seeking help from a domestic violence shelter or hotline, informing trusted friends or family members, or taking other steps to protect oneself.
  4. Education: Learning about the dynamics of emotional abuse can be helpful in understanding and recognizing it. Educational resources may include books, articles, videos, or online courses.
  5. Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed to address symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns that may result from emotional abuse.

It’s important to note that emotional abuse can have long-lasting effects, and it may take time and a combination of different treatments and strategies to heal. It’s always best to consult with a qualified mental health professional to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for your specific situation.

Q & A – What is Complex trauma?

Complex trauma is a type of trauma that occurs repeatedly or over an extended period of time, often in the context of interpersonal relationships, and can have a profound and lasting impact on an individual’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. Complex trauma can include experiences such as ongoing physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, neglect, exposure to community violence, and repeated relational disruptions or losses.

Unlike a single traumatic event, complex trauma is characterized by the chronic and pervasive nature of the trauma, and can lead to significant challenges in areas such as emotional regulation, interpersonal relationships, and self-identity. This is because complex trauma often occurs during critical periods of development, such as childhood, when an individual’s brain and nervous system are still developing.

Some common symptoms of complex trauma include flashbacks, dissociation, hypervigilance, anxiety, depression, shame, self-harm, substance abuse, and difficulties in trusting and forming healthy relationships.

Effective treatment for complex trauma often involves a comprehensive, trauma-informed approach that addresses the individual’s emotional, cognitive, and physiological needs. This can include therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and somatic experiencing. Additionally, creating a safe and supportive environment and building a sense of connection and trust with the therapist or caregiver can be crucial in supporting the individual’s healing and recovery from complex trauma.

©Linda Turner 2023

Betrayal trauma

Institutional betrayal

Institutional betrayal (IB) refers to wrongdoings perpetrated when an institution fails to prevent or appropriately respond to wrongdoings by other individuals. In instances when individuals experiencing traumatic events place a great deal of trust in the legal, medical, and mental health systems to address their wrongs they risk disbelief, blame, and refusal of help.[9] Priorities of the institution, such as protecting their reputation, may increase the likelihood that institutions fail to respond appropriately. Institutions may strenuously attempt to prevent knowledge of sexual assaults from surfacing, which can take the form of attempting to silence the individual.[10] Lack of validation and interpersonal trauma from institutional betrayal can be examined through a BTT lens and have been described as a “second assault,” which can exacerbate the effects of the initial trauma incurred.[9]

Betrayal Trauma

  • Betrayal-Trauma Theory: — Professor of cognitive psychology Jennifer Freyd created a useful web page explaining her theory of why children forget suppress awareness of some traumas and not others. 
  • Depue, B. E., Curran, T., & Banich, M. T. (2007). Prefrontal Regions Orchestrate Suppression of Emotional Memories via a Two-Phase Process. Science, 317 (5835), 215-219.Whether memories can be suppressed has been a controversial issue in psychology and cognitive neuroscience for decades. We found evidence that emotional memories are suppressed via two time-differentiated neural mechanisms: (1) an initial suppression by the right inferior frontal gyrus over regions supporting sensory components of the memory representation (visual cortex, thalamus), followed by (2) right medial frontal gyrus control over regions supporting multimodal and emotional components of the memory representation (hippocampus, amygdala), both of which are influenced by fronto-polar regions. These results indicate that memory suppression does occur and, at least in nonpsychiatric populations, is under the control of prefrontal regions.
  • See also, Putting a Lid on Bad Memories:The Mechanics of Memory Suppression

Coping after a traumatic event

How will I feel after a traumatic event?

How long will it take for these feelings to go away?

What should I do if I have experienced a traumatic event?

When should I get professional help?

What if I get PTSD?

What professional help is available?

Can my doctor prescribe medication to help me cope?

How can I support someone who has experienced a traumatic event?

How can I be a supportive employer?

Further help

Healing from a disconnection with your emotions.

As human beings, our lives are profoundly influenced by how we experience, handle, and express emotions. At some point in our lives, we all experience extreme sadness, fearstress, joy, and love. When something good happens to us, we feel lightness and joy in our hearts. When we experience losses and defeats, we have a sinking feeling at the bottom of our stomachs.

But imagine not being able to do that. What if you could never identify if you are sad or happy? What if you are indeed grieving or depressed but don’t even know it yourself? Can you imagine how confusing that is?

That is the world that a person with alexithymia dwells in.


Evidence-based Therapies- What does it mean

New Harbinger’s books offer techniques drawn from the most well-researched, proven-effective therapeutic models available, and are written by the foremost experts in psychology. Our editorial team ensures each book is accessible and useful to those who need them most—regular people who are either struggling with physical or mental health conditions themselves or searching for help for their loved ones. Here are a few of the therapies our authors use.

CBT        ACT         DBT         MBSR          MBCT          CFT



Power dynamics in families affected by parental alienation

Statement of Relevance: The balance of power in relationships has been an important differentiator of different forms of family violence. This project is the first to apply interdependence theory as a qualitative framework to determine that families affected by parental alienation have asymmetries in power between parents. Results indicate that all “high-conflict” divorced families are not equal, and that a better understanding of abusive power dynamics can be used to identify more effective methods of intervention.

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