What is Betrayal Trauma?

Written by Jasmin Verduzco-Copple M. Coun., LMHCA, LPC, CCTP, NCC

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re wondering if this is the right place for you. You may be asking yourself, Did I experience betrayal trauma? What even is betrayal trauma? These are great questions – Let’s get into it. 

Betrayal trauma – simply put – is an injury or violation of trust from someone we are close to or deeply depend on. 

This can include so many areas of our lives: Spouses and partners, parents and caregivers, siblings, friendships, employers, schools,  governing institutions, and religious institutions, just to name a few. 

These are relationships that we engage in with others that allow us to feel safe, secure, and loved. When there is a betrayal within a relationship that results in an injury or violation to one’s ability to trust the relationship, it can result in a trauma response. 

 Examples of Betrayal Trauma include:

  • Infidelity
  • Childhood physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Raised within a dysfunctional family system
  • Reporting an incident to HR and being met with more unchecked harassment
  • Mistreatment in hospital or ER settings for victims of sexual assault or those with mental health histories 

Betrayal Trauma can evoke symptoms related to post-traumatic stress (PTSD) including:

  • Dissociation – out of body experiencing, being “checked out”
  • Memory problems
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Negative emotional state
  • Irritability or feeling numb 
  • Hypervigilance – watching your back, continually looking for safety
  • Difficulty controlling or regulating emotions
  • Not feeling safe or like you can trust others

Being here is a huge first step in your path to recovery. You’re awakening the awareness you need to begin down a new path. No matter what type of betrayal you’ve experienced, our team is here to hear your story and support you through your journey. Reach out to us today.


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