How To Not Create Trauma Bonds?

Understanding and effectively using trauma bonding are important. Here, you’ll learn about common misconceptions, the actual definition of trauma bonding, what it looks like, How to not create trauma bonds, and how to leave a relationship that has been trauma-bonded.

The phrase “trauma bonding” is one of those psychological concepts that has made its way into public consciousness- has subsequently become misused through casual conversation.

What is trauma bonding?

Trauma bonding, specifically in a relationship with a recurrent pattern of abuse. It is the attachment an abused person has for their abuser. A cycle of abuse and positive reinforcement results in the relationship. The abuser makes claims of love and regret after each instance of abuse and makes various efforts to make the victim feel loved and safe in the relationship.

History of Trauma Bonding

Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., CAS, first used the term “trauma bonding” in 1997. Carnes founded the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals and specializes in addiction therapy (IITAP). In a speech titled “Trauma Bonds, Why People Bond To Those That Hurt Them,” he explained the theory of trauma bonding. 

Trauma bonding is one of nine possible responses to a traumatic circumstance, according to Carnes, who characterized it as “dysfunctional relationships that emerge in the midst of danger, shame, or exploitation.”

This idea is still relevant today, as counseling these days frequently centers on how victims can break trauma attachments and not feel guilty or shame over how they responded to a possibly fatal circumstance.

7 Stages of Trauma Bonding

How to not create trauma bonds?

Love bombing

This is the initial trauma bonding phase. The offender will make you feel loved throughout this phase.

Assurance and dependence

In the second stage, trust and dependency develop, and you continue to be more receptive to the offender.


The abuser will critique everything they want throughout the period of criticism, and that may be where your actual fight began.


He or she tries to manipulate you as much as they can, leaving you with no other option.

Letting go of control

At this point, you entirely cede to your abuser and give them control over every aspect of your life.

Becoming lost

The worst stage is thought to be this one since you will be losing yourself and it will take a very long time to get better.

Addiction to the cycle

The trauma bonding vicious cycle never ends.

Types of Trauma Bonding 

Since trauma bonding can happen in a variety of abusive conditions. Emotional ties are frequently formed in such circumstances.   As a result of our brain’s natural desire to find means of survival, they are nothing to be embarrassed by. Likewise known as paradoxical attachment.

This phenomenon can develop as a result of a number of circumstances. Here are some of the most common types of Trauma bonding:

  • Domestic violence
  • Incest
  • Mistreat women
  • Sexual abuse
  • human exploitation

Signs of Trauma Bonding

The victim’s acute knowledge of everything the abuser wants and expects to stop is frequently a hallmark of trauma bonding. A person in a trauma bond may also exhibit symptoms of PTSD and harbor mistrust towards those who bring up the trauma they are going through.

The following are typical signs of trauma bonding:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms
  • Forming a close emotional connection with the offender
  • Gratitude on the part of the offender for modest gestures of kindness
  • The denial of the abuse or the justification of the abuse (i.e., the idea that the abuse was merited as a result of something they did)
  • hyper-focused on the desires and demands of the offender
  • Accepting and endorsing the perpetrator’s viewpoint
  • Acting against their own ideals in order to satisfy the offender
  • Believing that anybody who urges them to leave an abusive relationship is their adversary
  • Having trouble leaving the abusive relationship and being afraid of being punished by the abuser if they do so

Impacts of Trauma Bonding

The biggest and worst effect of trauma bonding is that it might cause victims to stay in abusive situations due to their good feelings for the abuser. At best, this may result in further abuse; at worst, it may result in death.

Someone who has experienced trauma and becomes emotionally linked to the abuser may suffer from low self-esteem to ongoing trauma after being taken away from them. So according to one study, the effects on self-esteem stayed even six months after the victim had cut ties with the abuser.

Furthermore, Depression and anxiety are other aftereffects of trauma bonding that may occur. Trauma bonding may lead to generations.

The Ending Note

Consequently, Breaking a trauma bond and recovering can be a difficult road, and recognizing the true nature of the bond is an essential step. A person can receive healing support from dependable family members, friends, other survivors, counselors, support groups, and therapists.

So, if you have ever been a victim of abuse of any kind, you may have gone through trauma bonding. There is no reason to feel guilty or humiliated about this. It’s a typical reaction to trauma, and you can get help too.


How does a trauma bond get created?

Trauma bonding is a psychological reaction to abuse. It happens when the victim of abuse develops an unhealthful attachment with the abuser. The victim of abuse could grow sympathetic toward the abuser, which is reinforced by vicious cycles that are afterward followed by regret.

Why do I keep trauma bonding?

​​Because they depend on the abusive individual to meet their emotional needs, a person may form a trauma bond. A youngster, for instance, looks on their parent or guardian for love and support. The child might start to link love with abuse if that caregiver is abusive.

How do you survive a trauma bond?

You can heal the trauma bond. So long as both parties recognize the negative dynamic and wish to fix it by assuming responsibility for their respective portions. The work starts at this point. Not simply observing it, but also taking action.

What are the seven stages of trauma bonding?

  1. Love bombing.
  2. Trust and dependency.
  3. Criticism.
  4. Manipulation.
  5. Giving up control.
  6. Losing yourself.
  7. Addiction to the cycle.

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