The Trace of Life Experiences: Trauma and Couples

The Trauma and Couple research intervention unit is centered around

Interpersonal trauma

The rates of interpersonal traumas (childhood violence and abuse, sexual assault, complex trauma, polytrauma, etc.) are alarming, affecting up to 70 % of the population. Victims are at risk of revictimization and to suffer from a constellation of intra- and interpersonal severe and persistent problems.


Couple relationships

Although a majority of adults aim to experiment a satisfying intimate relationship, instability, marital distress, sexual difficulties and intimate partner violence are common. Childhood interpersonal trauma can leave long-lasting effects on psychological and relational functioning.


You are a sexologist and have a psychotherapist permit? Participate to our online study on sex therapist and factors influencing their practice (in French only)


Understanding the links between trauma and psycho-relational health

Childhood interpersonal trauma appears to impact what are described as self-capacities (e.g., Briere & Runtz, 2002). Self-capacities are thought to develop in the context of positive parent-child attachment experiences and refer to the extent to which an individual is able to accomplish 3... more

Faced with interpersonal trauma, the victim is typically in emergency state, which activate biological systems associated with survival, produce great anxiety, and narrows awareness his/her inner and outer world, for the benefit of survival mechanisms. The memories of trauma, emotions footprints... more

Child abuse, neglect or other parental violence can impact caretaker-child attachment systems, resulting in chronic, negative expectations and perceptions of other people (i.e., negative relational schema), leading to safety, trust, esteem, intimacy, and control issues. Survivors of early... more