Unresolved Childhood Abuse and Neglect in Adulthood: the Emotional Aspect in Relational Family Therapy

Lidija Božac

Abstract


Childhood family abuse or neglect is a traumatic relational experience with potentially long lasting impact on one’s psycho-organic and interpersonal world. The purpose of our qualitative research was to deepen the understanding of negative trauma impact on adults’ emotional world and to find the ways of recovery through Relational Family Therapy. Seven adults with the history of childhood abuse or neglect participated in the research. The results pointed out potential difficulties in identifying, naming and understanding emotions, differentiating past emotions from the present ones, distinguishing one’s own emotions from the projected ones, issues with experiencing the diversity of emotions, and difficulties with emotion regulation and management. Positive changes in these areas were observed in Relational Family Therapy. The findings of this research are a contribution to the understanding of specific emotional problems of adults with the history of childhood abuse or neglect as well as to therapeutic interventions that could lead to recovery.


Keywords


Childhood abuse; childhood neglect; emotions; Relational Family Therapy

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References


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