Posttraumatic relationship syndrome: The conscious processing of the world of trauma

Debra Vandervoort1, Ami Rokach2
1University of Hawaii at Hilo Social Sciences Division, United States
2The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Psychosocial Stress, Canada
Cite this article:  Vandervoort, D. , & Rokach, A. (2003). Posttraumatic relationship syndrome: The conscious processing of the world of trauma. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 31, 675-686.

Volume 31 Issue 7 | e1289 | Published: November 2003 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2003.31.7.675

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This paper was aimed at describing a new trauma-based syndrome called Posttraumatic Relationship Syndrome (PTRS) which may afflict individuals who have been traumatized by physical, sexual, and/or severe emotional abuse within the context of an intimate relationship. It differs from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in a number of ways, the most salient of which are the lack of a tendency toward numbing of responsiveness, which creates a very different mode of experiencing the “world of trauma”, and the inclusion of a category of relational symptoms. Whereas, in PTSD, there is overutilization of avoidant coping, PTRS involves the overuse of emotion-focused coping. The nature and psychosocial consequences of this syndrome are delineated.


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