Baffled by Love: Stories of the Lasting Impact of Childhood Trauma Inflicted by Loved Ones
By Laurie Kahn
“Love is why they come to therapy. Love is what they want, and love is what they say is not going well for them.”
-Laurie Kahn, Baffled by Love
As a therapist and as a writer, Laurie Kahn is aware of the power of words to give voice, and to heal. The experience of those injured or betrayed as children is often wordless. These are stories of people who were injured by someone they loved. Their abusers—a father, stepfather, priest, coach, babysitter, aunt, neighbor—are people who once inhabited their daily lives. Baffled by Love is about the healing power of sharing, exploring and finding words for one’s self. Laurie Kahn offers glimpses of her own rocky history interwoven with stores of her clients—creating a textured tale of all too human search for the “good” kind of love.
“Laurie Kahn bravely challenges the paralyzing taboos around love and psychotherapy. Her extraordinary achievement rests on wise insights, tender honesty, eloquent prose, and, perhaps most of all, the well-timed telling of her own compelling struggles with betrayal and love.” –Jennifer Freyd , PhD, author of award-winning Betrayal Trauma: The Logic of Forgetting Childhood Abuse
Learn more about Laurie Kahn and her book, Baffled by Love, by visiting her author website.
Baffled by Love can be purchased at:
Videos and Podcasts
On Tour With Laurie Kahn
As a therapist and as a writer, Laurie is aware of the power of words to give voice and to heal. Laurie is an author, blogger, and speaker who believes in the difference between defect and identity, and in writing that discloses personal narrative simply as another human tale. Listen to Laurie talk about Baffled by Love.
Laurie Pearlman on Laurie Kahn
Laurie Perlman, PhD is head of the Trauma Research, Education, and Training Institute (TREATI), a NGO specialized in trauma-focused professional training, community education, and research. Dr. Pearlman is a widely published author on the theory and treatment of vicarious trauma, and the impact of violence and abuse and the treatment of survivors. As an internationally acclaimed feminist trauma therapist, she has greatly influenced Laurie Kahn’s trauma focused work. Listen to her thoughts on the Womencare story and on Laurie Kahn.
Trauma Therapist Podcast
The Trauma Therapist Podcast is dedicated to raising the awareness of trauma and to helping educate, support and inspire the individuals who are interested in learning more about trauma and who want to help those people who’ve been impacted by trauma. Hear from Laurie Kahn about the inspiration for her book Baffled by Love in her interview for the Trauma Therapist Project with Guy Macpherson, PhD.
Response to the Kavanaugh Confirmation… The Trauma After the Trauma
By Laurie Kahn
What do I say to you, when I am fuming? I want to march in the streets. I want to scream. Women are scorned for our anger.
The more we are discounted, the more our anger escalates. I want to say something soothing and reassuring now, but that is not what I have to offer. Christine Blasey Ford bravely, and reluctantly, recounted her sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh, when they were in high school. We watched her testimony. Read more.
Teaching Children About Love
An excerpt from Baffled By Love by Laurie Kahn
Why don’t we take the time to teach children about love? Imagine if a teacher began a class by asking her students a simple question: “How do you know if someone loves you?”
The lucky ones might say, “When my daddy makes my lunch and puts my favorite snack in my bag,” or “When my mom kisses me goodnight,” or “Love is when your mom puts balloons all over the house on your birthday.” Others, like my clients Kate, Jessica, and Suzy, would have darker responses, if they knew how to answer at all. Read more.
Men and Gender
By Laurie Kahn
Boys are abusers; girls are victims. Men are lawyers; women keep house. Men love sports; women like to shop. The women’s movement has long challenged these gender stereotypes. As a young feminist, I gathered with other women in musty basements and apartments in ‘consciousness raising groups’ that drew links between the personal and the political. We were outraged by the political and social limitations placed on women. We challenged the societal norms that restricted our choice of partners, professions and lifestyle. It was a time of our awakening and political activity. Read more.
Separation of Families
By Womencare Staff
We, the therapists and staff of Womencare Counseling and Training Center, feel it is our moral imperative to speak out for those whose voices have been silenced, namely the children and families currently separated from one another at our borders.
As trauma-informed therapists, we know the profoundly damaging and lasting effects of these traumatic separations. They affect the neurological, psychological and physiological growth and development of the children, their parents and all those who witness these events. We also know from human history that the deleterious effects of these traumatic events and experiences will impact not only this generation but generations to come. Read more.
In the Media
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Womencare Counseling Center
No more claims you can’t afford therapy.
By KAREN HAWKINS
I once casually mentioned my therapist to a friend who flinched, shocked that I was so open about being in—hushed tone—therapy. Listen, I’ve been through some shit in my life, and I’ll shout from the rooftops that my amazing therapist is the only reason I’m not shouting from the rooftops. I met my therapist at Womencare Counseling Center in Evanston. Read more.
Book Review: The Trauma Recovery Group: A Guide for Practitioners
First a confession. Like many trauma therapists, I was raised on Judith Herman’s (1992) seminal book Trauma and Recovery. The dog-eared pages of my copy are frayed from constant reading, rereading, and referencing. As a trauma therapist and a devotee of group therapy, I ordered a copy of The Trauma Recovery Group: A Guide for Practitioners 3 months prior to its publication and waited impatiently for it to arrive. This book emerged from a collaboration of gifted Read more.
The Understanding and Treatment of Betrayal Trauma As a Traumatic Experience of Love
When a parent or caregiver whose charge it is to love and protect is also a perpetrator of abuse, love and abuse become acceptable partners. The child’s world is changed. The blueprint for loving relationships includes the acceptance of harm and betrayal without accountability. Read more.