One area of therapeutic focus that often escapes detection and close scrutiny is the issue of emotional incest and/or covert sexual abuse. Yet, as pervasive as emotional incest is, the topic goes undetected as a core antecedent for many clients’ relational issues.
September 11, 2011 as with the yearly anniversaries before it, is a time that I reflect on life. I reflect on how life unfolds and the twists and turns that become our own story. I lost acquaintances and colleagues on September 11, 2001. I am grateful that I did not lose family but I am ever so mindful for those that did.
Trained and experienced therapists among us who treat organic, sexual disorders and sexual compulsivity grapple with the theoretical and real-life meaning and definition of human behavior. No two therapists may see eye to eye on what constitutes a clinical description for sex addiction—an issue currently debated before the American Psychiatric Association.
Few spouses comport themselves with grace in the face of betrayal, yet the insinuation or diagnosis of borderline disorder is all too readily affixed. And by brandishing the borderline label, the clinical community serves to reactivate the emotional wounding and reinjure the person already reeling from betrayal and violation.
One’s ability to handle a traumatic experience(s) is not formulaic. Further, no two individuals will respond nor manage the distress in quite the same way. For some, violent acts [such as this], will elicit a healthy call-to-action in the service of political or social change. For others these events might induce an emotional decompensation rendering them emotionally unable to function as before.