on October 9, 2009
Thii book is a good read for virtually anyone. If you consdier the human story as a story of betrayal, we realize that everyone expereinces betrayal, The book goes a distance in helping to understand our own self destructive behavior, but also, the sometimes bizzare behavior of others. From that understanding the author provides a prescription of sorts for modifying the affect of betrayal in our lives.
on June 26, 2001
A copy of THE BETRAYAL BOND, given to me by who?, I don't recall, had been sitting on my bookshelf unread for at least two years when I finally took serious note of it, last Friday, June 22, 2001, while searching for yet another escapist novel. Actually, I was given no choice in the matter. Like a note to Alice (in Wonderland) the red lettered title suddenly jumped at me, screaming, "READ ME!" A day later, I emerged from reading, and answering the various questionaires, if not a new woman, a profoundly altered one.
Where do I begin? In the beginning I was a severely beaten and incestuously molested girl and teenager. Then I married a man who said I was "nothing" compared to him and abandoned me for months at a time or beat me to make that point even clearer. Then I divorced him and worked my way through a series of disasterous relationships with men who had no intention of remaining faithful. I went to Al-Anon for several years but that only got me over the alcohol-related stuff. Affiliation with a 12 Step group still did not prevent me from entering what proved to be the most devestating relationship of all in which I was sexually exploitated by a Catholic priest who dangled the promise of marriage, only to renig on it after he was ordered by his superior into sex offender treatment.
He is still a priest, who now attends Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings, and I am over the worst of the post-traumatic shock disorder I suffered from after learning about his Mr. Hyde side.
So, I have to assume this was the perfect time for me to finally read this book, because I was really ready for it. I all but inhaled the thing, nodding along rapidly, recognizing myself in so much of it it was painful, but freeing as well. I have tools now. I'm not a lost cause. I don't have to avoid men for the balance of my life; I just have to become a lot more conscious of what I'm doing and why. This is particularly a godsend because the reader can begin to use this, without the help of others, as a way to rebuild the ability to deal with others again.
I particularly like the comprehensiveness of this book. There is not one type of abuse, personal, social or institutional that Carnes doesn't discuss. He hits them all, with bullseye accuracy. There is no where to hide in this book and that's precisely what makes it so great -- a powerful testament to the assertion "the truth shall set you free." Amen!
However, I was disappointed to note that Carnes' support group listing at the back of the book does not include clergy (or religious) abuse support groups. This is a serious omission given the fact he provides so many references to clergy and religious abuse throughout the book. In reprints of this book, I hope he will amend that oversight as there are several such groups in existence throughout the world. I belong to one and know that I would probably be dead of suicide by now if I hadn't been referred to the support group I now belong to, by my therapist. Most people think clergy abuse is only about sexual molestation of children or adolescents by their pastor, but it's not. And people like me, who needlessly suffer alone, in the belief there are not others out there like them need desperately to be told otherwise.
Carnes book represents a remarkable breakthrough in terms of exposing all the insidiously complex and baffling psychological mechanisms that keep abuse and betrayal bonding at the denial level. As with the 12 Steps, this book is only a first step in dismantling the overall problem. But what a powerful Step in the right direction it is. More, more!
on March 30, 2001
The Betrayal Bond is a superb book. It is research based, concisely written and easy to read. It handles the subject of exploitive relationships in a manner that shows great depth of understanding of how these bonds form in the first place, and great compassion toward those who suffer from betrayal bonds. The main strength of this book is that the author offers concrete advice for how to break free of the betrayal bond and move on to healthier relationships. Note: I read two other books along with The Betrayal Bond, and found the three books together to be highly complementary. The two other books I read are: Emotional Intelligence [Goleman] and The Verbally Abusive Relationship [Evans]. Buy these three books, and share them with a friend when you are done with them!
on February 28, 2000
Have you been exploited by a therapist or minister, yet, inexplicably, keep running back to him? Have you been emotionally or physically abused by a spouse, but find it difficult to get out of the marriage --- or, if divorced, feel so bonded that it feels as if you're still married?
If so, please read this book! The book clearly explains why "the betrayal bond" is so powerful. I myself was sexually abused by two different "authority" figures when I was 4 and then again when I was 16. I carried deep shame about this, feeling I somehow carried a flaw within me that caused this to happen to me. Then, a year ago, I sought healing with a licensed marriage & family therapist who turned out to be completely unethical (kissing clients on the mouth, allowing family members & ex-girlfriends in group, soliciting business from clients for pyramid schemes, having clients working for him, etc.) He seduced me. I immediately cut of ties with the man but could not quit longing for him, all the while enraged at him and knowing how destructively insane this obsessive attachment was. Not until I read this book did I understand WHY I found it difficult to free myself from this therapist. Now I'm healing the original wounds with a trained social worker and am firmly on the road to recovery.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has experienced trauma bonding: child abuse, emotional abuse, professional exploitation, religious abuse, incest, serial infidelity, sexual harrassment. IT'S A MUST-READ for those in the healing professions, as well.
on April 27, 1998
As we've come to expect from his previous cutting edge books, Dr Carnes integrates a good blend of theory and practicality in his writing. In The Betrayal Bond the author first establishes the basis for seeing how and when relationships become and stay exploitive, and what is required to break the cycle of abuse toward healing. A REFRESHING ADVANTAGE of this book is that nearly half of it is dedicated to sequencing concrete steps for identifying problems and change on a path of awareness, action, recovery, and hope. This book, therefore, stands to be very helpful to the consultant and victim, the practioner and patient in charting a way of understanding, identifying specific goals, and marking progress toward achieving them.