Spotlight on Neglect
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Ruth Cohn
Coming Home to Passion: Restoring Loving Sexuality
After Childhood Trauma and Neglect

The road from childhood trauma is long and bumpy. For many people with histories of abuse, neglect, violence or loss the toughest part about the journey is a ravaging loneliness. Trauma rattles the foundation of trust and safety that makes human connection possible. Often trauma involves betrayal as well. And if parents fail to see, act or help when traumatic events occur, a child is all alone to cope with them. It is no wonder that these children, and later adults might struggle desperately with intimacy and love.

Often sexuality is an area of great difficulty for adults with trauma and neglect in their backgrounds. Even if the trauma was not overtly sexual, it may feel immensely threatening or dangerous to be as open and vulnerable as loving sexuality requires. Every species requires safety to be sexual, and we humans are no exception. As a result, many survivors of trauma and neglect, single or partnered; dread or avoid sexual interaction. For single survivors this may be a source of pain, shame and despair of ever being close with anyone. For partnered or married survivors and their spouses or partners, it may be a source of relentless conflict.

If you are one of these people who struggle with intimacy and sexuality, a survivor of trauma or neglect, a partner of a survivor, or a former partner trying to figure out what happened, this web site is for you.

In the last 20 years science has taught us much about how trauma affects the brain and the nervous system, as well as the heart and soul. Trauma etches deep grooves in the psyche literally and figuratively. This new information gives us much direction in terms of how to help people heal. It has always interested me. Since about 1997, I have been particularly interested in how powerfully healing love and connection can be. At that time, I began to devote myself increasingly to therapy with couples, couples where one or both partners had histories of childhood trauma or neglect.

As I studied, practiced and developed my work with these couples, I made a marvelous discovery. I was certainly not the first to discover this, but I discovered it for myself: working deeply on their relationship, partners can do more than heal their relationship. They can actually heal the nervous systems of both partners. It became my passion to build these ideas into an approach and a method. That has been the focus of my work ever since.

I am filled with optimism and hope as I sit with couples day after day and see what is possible. The intention of this site is, through information and resources, to share that hope with you. Healing the heart and body is a kind of homecoming. Coming home to and with the one you love is an experience of indescribable awe.