Understanding the Complex Relationship Between Trauma and Narcissistic Abuse

First defined by Jennifer Freyd, PhD, in 1991, betrayal trauma is the trauma that occurs when we have placed our trust in a person, whether that's a parent, another family member, an intimate partner, or someone else, and in many ways that trust is violated. As Dr. Freyd puts it, a relationship has duties, and the duties in a relationship are to be present, attuned, patient, empathic, and, above all else, to create psychological safety.

When somebody doesn't hold up those duties in a relationship, which is a common occurrence in a narcissistic relationship, there is betrayal. When those betrayals mount up and as a person experiences betrayal trauma, they experience a cascade of fallout that is similar to that of all trauma survivors.

Watch the video below as renowned experts Dr. Ramani Durvasula and Dr. Kate Truitt delve into the complex relationship between trauma and narcissistic abuse. In the video, they explore how trauma and development intersect with experiences of narcissistic abuse and highlight the often-hidden dynamics that influence how we understand ourselves and our place in the world.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula and Dr. Kate Truitt also incorporate the latest neuroscience to pinpoint healing opportunities for your clients and share steps you can use to help clients recover from trauma, build a path toward self-empowerment, and so much more.

Get a Free Chapter of Kate Truitt's Book
Keep Breathing: A Psychologist’s Intimate Journey Through Loss, Trauma, and Rediscovering Life
In Keep Breathing, Dr. Kate Truitt, a renowned psychologist, applied neuroscientist, and trauma expert, shares her story of unimaginable loss, trauma, and ultimately, healing. Faced with the sudden-gut wrenching death of her fianće just one week before their wedding day, Kate found her world shattered, catapulting her into a deep void of profound grief, trauma, shock, and guilt.

Part memoir and part scientific exploration, Keep Breathing uses Kate’s own account as a case study to illuminate the common experiences in our human brain – deep love and devasting loss, exhilaration and pain, life and death – that have the power to both derail our lives and ignite us to rebuild, heal, and grow. Her deeply personal loss sheds light on the human spirit’s extraordinary ability to persevere and thrive in the face of suffering – providing readers with a roadmap to navigate their own paths to healing and self-discovery. With its raw yet warm candor, Kate’s brave storytelling exemplifies what it means to truly come back to ourselves.

Certified Narcissistic Abuse Treatment Clinician (NATC) Training with Dr. Ramani Durvasula
Become a Certified Narcissistic Abuse Treatment Clinician! Join Dr. Ramani Durvasula, the world's most highly recognized expert on narcissistic abuse, in this certification program that’s specifically designed to equip you with the crucial skills and insight to work with narcissism and antagonistic relational stress. You’ll walkaway with a comprehensive roadmap to address narcissistic abuse, including how to apply trauma-informed models and how to handle the ethical issues that are common with these cases. If you’re ready to become a true expert in the field of narcissism treatment, then enroll today and help clients take back their lives!
Meet the Experts:
Dr. Kate Truitt is a neuroscientist and clinical psychologist with an MBA in Healthcare Administration. She has dedicated her life to advancing the treatment of trauma and stress-related disorders. Dr. Truitt is the founder and president of Dr. Kate Truitt & Associates – a neuroscience-based group therapy practice in Pasadena, and the CEO of the Trauma Counseling Center (TCC), with offices throughout Los Angeles. She founded Viva Excellence to provide cutting edge training and seminars globally that bring together the newest advancements in the fields of neuroscience and resiliency, as well as stress and trauma treatments. Her clinical practice, scientific studies, and trainings are specialized in the treatment of PTSD/complex trauma, panic disorders and anxiety, phobias, as well as other stress-related disorders. Her research is on brain health during the recovery process, treatment outcomes, and psychophysiology. Dr. Truitt consults globally for trauma treatment programs, leads research initiatives, and provides trainings on trauma as well as personal empowerment. Dr. Truitt founded and is the Chairman of the Board for the Amy Research Foundation, a 501c3 organization to advance research into the innovative treatment realm of neuroscience based mental health treatment. She is also a certified trainer as well as the global director of continuing education for the Havening Techniques.

Learn more about her educational products, including upcoming live seminars, by clicking here.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, CA, Professor Emerita of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and the founder and CEO of LUNA Education, Training & Consulting, a company focused on educating individuals, clinicians, and businesses/institutions on the impact of narcissistic personality styles. Her academic research was focused on the impact of personality and personality disorders on health and behavior.

Learn more about her educational products, including upcoming live seminars, by clicking here.

Email Signup