Ep 40: Beckie Hennessy On Betrayal Trauma

Beckie Hennessy is a licensed clinical mental health counsellor. She began her career specializing in child trauma. She then branched out into trauma in general and now specializes in relational trauma, also known as betrayal trauma. In this episode, Beckie explains how betrayal trauma affects the brain and confirms that it is actual trauma. She also delves into attachment and its relationship to trauma.Beckie did her studies with the “Trauma Guru” Barbara Stephens. She says that trauma is when a person does not know how to process an event because it is too much to handle. When someone has trauma, they have three options at their disposal. They will either fight, run away or freeze. These are the only ways that a person can respond to traumatic situations.Beckie elaborates on this and discusses that the brain gets hijacked because of the event. The event is too overwhelming because it completely shatters the reality of the person experiencing the traumatic event. Beckie gives an example of having emergency services rush past your vehicle as you are driving home only to discover that it is because your house is on fire.But how does porn use and lying about it, equate to watching your house burn down? Beckie explains that it is about attachments and how people have their “person”. “When you pick your person and have sex with that person. When you pick your person and they hold your hair back while you’re puking your guts out because you are pregnant. And you find out that they are lying, for years, it is like your house is burning down inside you. You don’t know how to handle the situation.”The reason for the trauma is because a person attaches themselves to another person and there is a life that is created and shared between them. When that life turns out to be a lie, it disrupts every part of the betrayed person’s life. This is called relational trauma. A lot of people associate relational trauma with codependency; and there is another term called pro-dependency.Codependency is a very controversial topic because it says that you are pathologically flawed to the point that you will always choose the same type of person because you need them to be in your life. Pro-dependency is not a new concept but it is gaining popularity. Pro-dependency says that it is a learned behavior and not a permanent fixture. Becky assists people in understanding why they continually make the same choices and then helps them learn new habits. The way she does that is bringing us back to our foundation.God should be our foundation. Is it just that easy? Yes! However, it is easier said than done. We have to choose to get our validation through Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ instead of other flawed people, including ourselves. Lacrae says, “You live by their acceptance and die by their rejection.” This is so true. And the truth is Dad will never reject you and me. That gives us all the chance to be unashamed and unafraid of what the world thinks.This has been an amazing opportunity for us and hopefully you. We want to thank Beckie in helping us understand what Betrayal (Relational) Trauma is. She can be heard on the podcast. “The path of Imperfection” and on instagram @beckie.hennessy.lcsw or beckiehennessy.com. If this episode resonates with you, or you know someone who might benefit from them, please feel free to share the link to the episode with them. At Unashamed Unafraid we are here to spread the words of hope and healing through Jesus Christ.  Please subscribe and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @UnashamedUnafraid.

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