GFW PTSD Home  | Site Map  | Site Search   
Gift From Within - PTSD Questions & Answers with Frank Ochberg, M.D.


PTSD:
Complex/Chronic PTSD:
PTSD Symptoms:
PTSD/PTSI Insomnia:
Relationships:
Caregivers/Partners with PTSD:
Childhood Abuse:
Work Issues:
Recovery:
Therapy:
Veterans & PTSD:
Professionals:
Other Conditions:

PTSD Questions & Answers
with
Joyce Boaz & Dr. Frank Ochberg, M.D.

Read "Survivor Psalm" by Frank Ochberg

search this site the web

site search by freefind

Search FAQ pages (use FAQ in your search string)

Stockholm Syndrome, Trauma Bond and Undue Influence

Q: Dear Joyce,

Recently several people involved in inheritance and custody disputes have asked me to explain the concepts of Stockholm syndrome, trauma bond and undue influence. They once had a close loving relationship with a parent or child, and now that loved one seems to have been stolen, psychologically, by a former spouse or a relative. They wonder if they have encountered a form of Stockholm syndrome. Here is my explanation:

A:

Stockholm Syndrome, Trauma Bond and Undue Influence

Stockholm syndrome is a form of trauma bond in which victims are suddenly and violently captured, threatened with death and not allowed to move, talk, eat or use a toilet without permission from their assailant. But, ironically and paradoxically, they experience positive feelings toward this cruel captor as the captor grants permission to move, speak and eat, and as, psychologically, the captor is perceived not as an agent of death but rather as a giver of life. Usually this perception is unconscious. Survivors do not know where their feelings of attachment come from. They only know that the captor is a source of sustenance and survival. There are two other elements of the syndrome. The captor experiences a bond, too. He is a mother figure, sustaining an infant, and he feels a maternal attachment, regardless of gender. The third element of the syndrome is mutual distrust and antipathy toward those outside of the siege room who negotiate and who may attempt an armed rescue. They are the dangerous enemy.

There are other forms of trauma bond that have different but similar elements. They involve a person who has power and uses it illegally or unethically to dominate or threaten or humiliate a person of lesser rank. Then the harsh treatment is replaced with presents or compliments or liberty. The victim experiences profound relief, denies the fact that harsh treatment or deceit was used in the past, and experiences a bond. In such a state of trauma bonding, the victim is compliant, easily manipulated, and unduly influenced.

Trauma may not be necessary for undue influence. In domestic situations one family member may isolate a vulnerable family member, create a sense of threat by characterizing a rival as dangerous, and thereby influencing that vulnerable person to favor them. This occurs in "granny snatching" when a wealthy parent or grandparent is isolated during an inheritance dispute. It also occurs in custody disputes when an unscrupulous parent attempts to vilify a former spouse in order to win the confidence of a child while destroying the trust that child once placed in the other parent.

Frank M Ochberg, MD

Was this helpful to you?
If so, please consider supporting our work.

top


Article Index:

Addiction | Adoption | Auto Accidents | Chaplains, Police, EMT | Childhood & Adult Sexual Victimization | Compassion Fatigue
Culture, Race, and Ethnicity | Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault | Grief | Journalists, Survivors, and the Media
Male Sexual Abuse & Domestic Violence | Partners & Families | PTSD Treatment & Recovery | PTSD and Health
PTSD and Workplace Issues | Recovery & Self Help | Resiliency | School Disasters
Spirituality & Trauma | Survivor Guilt | Trauma Responses in the Aftermath of Disasters | Veterans & Their Families


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Home Page | Site Map | Articles | Webcasts | Order Form | DVDs on PTSD and Trauma | Q&A with Dr. Ochberg
PTSD Etiquette: Finding The Right Words | Meditations | Support Pals Humor Grab Bag
Support Pals Share Inspirational Stories | Support Pals Share Favorite Healing Ideas | Support Pals Book Reviews
Support Pals Finding A Therapist | Support Pals Talk About Living With PTSD | Support Pals Favorite Books & Music
Support Pals Discuss: What PTSD Means To Me | Military Family Resources | Support Groups | Internet Links | Retreats & Respites
Conferences, Workshops and Seminars | PTSD & Trauma Bookstore | Poetry | Art | Music | Survivor Psalm | Memory Shouldn't Be...
Mission Statement | What People Are Saying | Support GFW | Frank Ochberg's Bio | Joyce Boaz's Bio | Board Members | Contact Us
Awards | Band of Angels | What's New | View Our PSAs | Site Search | Guestbook


Copyright © 1995-2017 Gift from Within,Camden, Maine 04843
html Conversion Copyright © 1995-2017 SourceMaine, Belfast, Maine 04915
Content may not be reproduced on websites without express permission. Please link instead.

Page created on 12 July 2016
Last updated by on 27 July 2016