Treating the sequelae of chronic childhood emotional abandonment

Chronic emotional abandonment is traumatic for children, and often leads them to identify with the aggressor (IWA)—in order to hold onto their needed attachment to their parents, they feel, think, and do what their parents require, blame themselves for being abused and for their family’s unhappiness, and feel ashamed. IWA often persists as a general tendency. Treatment requires therapists’ dependability, attunement, empathy, interest, humility, and perhaps playfulness. …

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