Specializing in the Treatment of 
Intimacy Disorders, Sex and Love Addiction, 
Trauma and Healing

Trauma & Healing

Trauma and abuse in a dysfunctional family is defined as anything less than nurturing on the part of the caregiver including:

  • Enmeshment
  • Abandonment/Neglect
  • Other Trauma or Child Abuse

More On 
Trauma & Healing 

Please read more from the New York Times; this information is regularly updated, so please check back often:  

New England Recovery Associates (NERA) Addiction Recovery Experts Specializing in the Treatment of Trauma & Healing

Trauma and Abuse In a
Dysfunctional Environment

Trauma and abuse in a dysfunctional family is defined as anything less than nurturing on the part of the caregiver.  It is created within a child's relationship with their caregivers when either the parent or caregiver is too close and intrusive (enmeshment) or too far away (abandonment/neglect).

Caregivers can be parents, grandparents, childcare workers,  teach-ers, scout leaders, clergy, coaches, etc.  Below are some examples of these relationship dynamics:



  • Use of implements, face slapping, shaking, hair pulling, head banging, and tickling a child into hysteria
  • Having a child physically nurture a parent
  • Intrusive procedures (i.e., enemas)

  • Intercourse, oral sex, masturbation, sexual touching known as fondling, sexual kissing, and hugging
  • Voyeurism, exhibitionism, verbal sexual trauma
  • Failure to have sexual boundaries in the presence of a child and
  • Having a child witness sexual trauma
  • Enmeshment by the parent or primary caregiver
  • Attacking, shaming, or over-control of the child's expression of thought
  • Shaming a child's expression of emotion
  • Refusal to let child express feelings
  • Improper expression of feelings by the parent or primary caregiver


  • The religious addiction of the parent or caregiver
  • Trauma at the hands of a religious caregiver
  • Parent acting like they are the god or goddess of the family
  • Indulgence or false empowerment of the child
  • Perfection demanded of, or expected from, the child


Failure to provide

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter

Failure to provide adequate

  • Physical nurturing
  • Emotional nurturing
  • Sexual information (age appropriate)
  • Medical and dental care
  • Financial assistance and information (age appropriate)
  • Education
  • Spiritual nurturing
  • Being dismissive or shaming of a child's wants

Other Trauma or Child Abuse

  • Overt versus Covert Abuse
  • Disempowering versus Falsely Empowering Abuse 

The above is provided courtesty of:
Pia Mellody, Mellody House of Dakota and The Meadows

Call 855-900-NERA

Our Locations

Serving NE Massachusetts,
New Hampshire & Maine

435 Newbury Street, Suite 202 
Danvers, MA 019235

23A Atkinson Street
Dover, NH 03820

Serving Greater Boston, The South Shore to Cape Cod, and Northern Rhode Island

160 Old Derby Street, Suite 266
Hingham, MA  02043

40 Tremont Street, Suite 63 
Duxbury, MA 02332

1445 Wampanoag Trail, Suite 108A, Riverside, RI 02915

Serving the Boston
Metropolitan Area

21 Randolph Street
Arlington, MA  02474

114 Waltham Street, Suite 21
Lexington, MA 02421

South/Central Massachusetts,
Rhode Island and Northern Connecticut

45 Lyman Street, Suite 21
Westborough, MA 01581  02474

Our Clinicians

Jodi Conway, LADC, MAC, CSAT-s
James Bailey, LMHC, CADC II, CSAT
Sarah Doebler, LICSW, CSAT
Vincent Duffy, LICSW, CSAT
Aliki Pishev, LICSW, BDC
Moses J. Calouro, LCDP, ASAT
Robert M. Mello, Jr., LICSW, CSAT, EMDR II