Trauma & Neglect

Trauma by definition is overwhelming experience, which essentially means the stimulus is greater than what the brain and nervous system are designed to process in their customary way. Neglect is the panoply of essential missing experiences, without which survival and wellbeing may be compromised and possibly threatened. Both can dysregulate the brain, and body and leave their mark on virtually all aspects of human functioning.

The Book

For many years, adult “children of neglect” have lamented, “why did no one ever recognize this before?” or “I could never understand why I felt bad, there was nothing they could point to in their childhoods. They found little to read that seemed to fit or help. Learning about neglect, suddenly they understood what was “wrong” and had a direction for how to feel better. Both they and their partners implored me, “please teach and write about this!” Thus this book.

My most recent book, Working with the Developmental Trauma of Childhood Neglect teaches therapists how to help children of neglect, while also being accessible to the intelligent client population.

Stay tuned to my weekly blog for more information and for dialog.

Topics covered in this book will include:

  • What is neglect?
  • I had food, clothing and shelter, so what was missing?
  • The “three P’s of neglect:” passivity, procrastination and paralysis
  • Caretaking: why the “external” focus?
  • Isolation: self centeredness or self reliance?
  • The conundrum of relationship
  • “Knowing” it all
  • The koan of sexuality
  • The myth of powerlessness
  • Healing? Who needs It?
  • Steps to healing and growth for the self reliant character


“Why Won’t You ‘Just’ Talk to Me?” As I was pondering the recurring devastating dynamic between a couple I work with, a memory from my own life bubbled up. For those of us who have the minimal and spotty memory of early life, typical of neglect, these little forays into

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Ignoring, Forgetting and Denying Driving to work one day last month, I heard a snippet of news about a young man named Spencer Elden, now 30 years old, suing Nirvana and Kurt Cobain’s estate for a 1991 photograph of him, taken and used without his consent. He was a four-month-old

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Second Chances

Healing, Relationship Repair and Jewels In 1968 I almost died of anorexia. I was 13. We now know that the whole spectrum of eating disorders are desperate attempts at self-regulation, and rife among survivors of all manner of trauma. We have a bazillion dollar eating disorder treatment industry and literature,

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