IJSSH 2016 Vol.6(11): 859-864 ISSN: 2010-3646
doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2016.V6.859

A Qualitative Study of Understanding Clients' Relational Trauma

Wan-Chen Chen
Abstract—Relational trauma refers to an extreme fear of an individual that he/she feels a lack of control and helplessness because of being abandoned, neglected and bullied in earlydependency relationship. The individual could neither predict the end of a relationship nor escape from the relationship that he/she enters into a state of disconnection from others. The present study explored how relational trauma result in a pattern of rigid and distorted interpersonal relationship of an individual, and investigated its influence on individual’s later interpersonal experience. Data was based on the depth interviews of a senior psychologist who conducted relational approach long-term psychotherapy and informed consent was obtained from the client. The psychologist provided the process of how the client started to talk about his relational trauma after their close counseling relationship was built. The psychologist was interviewed twice for around two hours each time and verbatim transcription was conducted after the interview. Independent-coder method was adapted to insure the reliability and validity of data analysis; furthermore, to deeply reflect the life experience of client in constructing relational traumatic process. Finally, suggestions for future research and practice are given accordingly, and the results provide educators with fundamental knowledge about clients’ change.

Index Terms—Long-term psychotherapy, qualitative research, relational approach, relational trauma.

Wan-Chen Chen is with the Department of Education, National ChengChi University, Taiwan (e-mail: wan-chen@nccu.edu.tw).

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Cite: Wan-Chen Chen, "A Qualitative Study of Understanding Clients' Relational Trauma," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 6, no. 11, pp. 859-864, 2016.

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