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142 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a Powerful, Eye-Opening Book!
Have you been exploited by a therapist or minister, yet, inexplicably, keep running back to him? Have you been emotionally or physically abused by a spouse, but find it difficult to get out of the marriage --- or, if divorced, feel so bonded that it feels as if you're still married?

If so, please read this book! The book clearly explains why "the...
Published on February 28, 2000

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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Identifies Problem, but Doesn't Provide Solution
I felt this book identified the problem extremely well. I could see how a relationship I've been in fits the description of a betrayal bond nearly perfectly. However, I was disappointed in that I did not think the solution was very clearly explained. In fact, p. 35 says that trauma bonds "can be formed almost instantaneously, but they can last forever," leaving me to...
Published on February 19, 2006 by Sunshine Rain


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142 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a Powerful, Eye-Opening Book!, February 28, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Paperback)
Have you been exploited by a therapist or minister, yet, inexplicably, keep running back to him? Have you been emotionally or physically abused by a spouse, but find it difficult to get out of the marriage --- or, if divorced, feel so bonded that it feels as if you're still married?

If so, please read this book! The book clearly explains why "the betrayal bond" is so powerful. I myself was sexually abused by two different "authority" figures when I was 4 and then again when I was 16. I carried deep shame about this, feeling I somehow carried a flaw within me that caused this to happen to me. Then, a year ago, I sought healing with a licensed marriage & family therapist who turned out to be completely unethical (kissing clients on the mouth, allowing family members & ex-girlfriends in group, soliciting business from clients for pyramid schemes, having clients working for him, etc.) He seduced me. I immediately cut of ties with the man but could not quit longing for him, all the while enraged at him and knowing how destructively insane this obsessive attachment was. Not until I read this book did I understand WHY I found it difficult to free myself from this therapist. Now I'm healing the original wounds with a trained social worker and am firmly on the road to recovery.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has experienced trauma bonding: child abuse, emotional abuse, professional exploitation, religious abuse, incest, serial infidelity, sexual harrassment. IT'S A MUST-READ for those in the healing professions, as well.
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140 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtitle: How To Bypass Repetitive Misery Syndrome, June 26, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Paperback)
A copy of THE BETRAYAL BOND, given to me by who?, I don't recall, had been sitting on my bookshelf unread for at least two years when I finally took serious note of it, last Friday, June 22, 2001, while searching for yet another escapist novel. Actually, I was given no choice in the matter. Like a note to Alice (in Wonderland) the red lettered title suddenly jumped at me, screaming, "READ ME!" A day later, I emerged from reading, and answering the various questionaires, if not a new woman, a profoundly altered one.
Where do I begin? In the beginning I was a severely beaten and incestuously molested girl and teenager. Then I married a man who said I was "nothing" compared to him and abandoned me for months at a time or beat me to make that point even clearer. Then I divorced him and worked my way through a series of disasterous relationships with men who had no intention of remaining faithful. I went to Al-Anon for several years but that only got me over the alcohol-related stuff. Affiliation with a 12 Step group still did not prevent me from entering what proved to be the most devestating relationship of all in which I was sexually exploitated by a Catholic priest who dangled the promise of marriage, only to renig on it after he was ordered by his superior into sex offender treatment.
He is still a priest, who now attends Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings, and I am over the worst of the post-traumatic shock disorder I suffered from after learning about his Mr. Hyde side.
So, I have to assume this was the perfect time for me to finally read this book, because I was really ready for it. I all but inhaled the thing, nodding along rapidly, recognizing myself in so much of it it was painful, but freeing as well. I have tools now. I'm not a lost cause. I don't have to avoid men for the balance of my life; I just have to become a lot more conscious of what I'm doing and why. This is particularly a godsend because the reader can begin to use this, without the help of others, as a way to rebuild the ability to deal with others again.
I particularly like the comprehensiveness of this book. There is not one type of abuse, personal, social or institutional that Carnes doesn't discuss. He hits them all, with bullseye accuracy. There is no where to hide in this book and that's precisely what makes it so great -- a powerful testament to the assertion "the truth shall set you free." Amen!
However, I was disappointed to note that Carnes' support group listing at the back of the book does not include clergy (or religious) abuse support groups. This is a serious omission given the fact he provides so many references to clergy and religious abuse throughout the book. In reprints of this book, I hope he will amend that oversight as there are several such groups in existence throughout the world. I belong to one and know that I would probably be dead of suicide by now if I hadn't been referred to the support group I now belong to, by my therapist. Most people think clergy abuse is only about sexual molestation of children or adolescents by their pastor, but it's not. And people like me, who needlessly suffer alone, in the belief there are not others out there like them need desperately to be told otherwise.
Carnes book represents a remarkable breakthrough in terms of exposing all the insidiously complex and baffling psychological mechanisms that keep abuse and betrayal bonding at the denial level. As with the 12 Steps, this book is only a first step in dismantling the overall problem. But what a powerful Step in the right direction it is. More, more!
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read !!!, December 24, 2005
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This review is from: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Paperback)
If you are looking for a book about toxic relationships, and healing from them, you have found an excellent choice in reading. Patrick Carnes speaks so plainly, he is easy to unerstand, and will definately assist in your journy in healing from horrible relationships.

Carnes does a wonderful job of describing what trauma bonds are. Trauma bonds are when you become bonded, in an unhealthy way to a person, or a situation. Often these bonds are with people who abuse, or hurt us, hence the term betrayal bond. Carnes will carefully guide you through symptoms that you might have. He will describe many things that you may not have always related as being after shocks of bad bonding.

This bonding can come from a wide variety of things. The negative bonding can include anything from sexual abuse as a child, or even an adult, an abusive spouse, a neglectful spouse, along with a host of other reasons. We may feel shame, anger, hatred, or a variety of other feelings over these past events. Unfortunately, we can develop some responses to these issues that make us do unhealthy things.

Carnes guides you thought looking at your unhealthy patterns, and then askes you to write your life story, and look for patterns of people that you attract, and unhealthy patterns that have developed in those relationships. He feels that through understanding what has happened, your current actions, and making those connections will help you heal those past wounds.

This book is so easy to read. He speaks plainly. You will not be lost in technical words, as everything is explained clearly. I highly recommend this book to others who are looking to heal wounds from the past and present.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent layout of complex exploitive relationships, April 27, 1998
This review is from: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Paperback)
As we've come to expect from his previous cutting edge books, Dr Carnes integrates a good blend of theory and practicality in his writing. In The Betrayal Bond the author first establishes the basis for seeing how and when relationships become and stay exploitive, and what is required to break the cycle of abuse toward healing. A REFRESHING ADVANTAGE of this book is that nearly half of it is dedicated to sequencing concrete steps for identifying problems and change on a path of awareness, action, recovery, and hope. This book, therefore, stands to be very helpful to the consultant and victim, the practioner and patient in charting a way of understanding, identifying specific goals, and marking progress toward achieving them.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to change the way you love...., May 12, 2002
By 
Susan G. (Pacific Grove, Ca. USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Paperback)
If you want to change the way you love, this book is for you. It is not for the faint at heart. I found two other people that were interested in this work and met weekly until we had completed the book. Patrick Carnes is a pioneer in his field and has dedicated many years of research to the emotional bonds that we make in our early lives that can lead to years of failed relationships and poor choices. This book changed my life. I highly recommmend it.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read The Betrayal Bond along with two other books, March 30, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Paperback)
The Betrayal Bond is a superb book. It is research based, concisely written and easy to read. It handles the subject of exploitive relationships in a manner that shows great depth of understanding of how these bonds form in the first place, and great compassion toward those who suffer from betrayal bonds. The main strength of this book is that the author offers concrete advice for how to break free of the betrayal bond and move on to healthier relationships. Note: I read two other books along with The Betrayal Bond, and found the three books together to be highly complementary. The two other books I read are: Emotional Intelligence [Goleman] and The Verbally Abusive Relationship [Evans]. Buy these three books, and share them with a friend when you are done with them!
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Ourselves and Others, October 30, 2004
By 
Harry Littell (Sacramento, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Paperback)
Earlier this year I read "Out of the Shadows" and "Contrary to Love." I had each of these books in my library since 1972 but I never read them. Afterwards I sought another book to read by Patrick Carnes and by reading reviews I decided to purchase this one. Like the other two books, not only is the material compelling, but it is a process. In other words, you don't start from the back of the book and work towards the front. Rather you work from where you are at and discover yourself at the end where you want to be, as you come to more greatly understand who you really are.

Reading this book has brought a lot of comfort into my life. This is in large part because of the way he explains the manner that persons who are subject to trauma bonding relate to others. It is not trivial. He opens up each of the subjects brilliantly and leaves each on a positive enlightened note taking the reader step by step to a better sense of purpose and self.

In this book he seems to set aside the issues of addictions and instead he focuses on the tapestry of the relationships formed within abuse, and how to recognize and admit to betrayal in our lives. If he were a physicist the subject would be on the particle level. It is absolutely amazing the way this book can affect one's understanding and calm the troubled heart and mind.

Of course, if you have a background in addiciton literature it is all the more an advantage, as you already have at least a theoretical grasp of the systemic nature of the disease and how it impacts relationships. But here he takes the reader on a journey that I believe almost any personality can adapt to--of unraveling pain, deceit, struggle, uncertainty, blame, and trauma to find the person within each of us--while restoring hope and confidence and "to help you reclaim your priorities."

It is truly and utterly amazing. For certain the content is incredible, but the process of change permitted by the process of understanding, as the reader progresses page by page, is (literally) phenomenal. For what it is worth--a task left for you to measure its value--I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers questions I've been asking for decades, August 25, 2005
By 
J Christy "C" (Kansas City, MO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Paperback)
I believe this book should be required reading for all therapist and councilors. By combining research on both addiction and trauma this book bridges huge gaps. The checklists and detailed descriptions of behavior patterns were most helpful to me. And personally, I especially appreciated the section that explains the difference between codependents and those who are in betrayal bonds - they are very different behavior patterns and require very different methods for recovery.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Identifies Problem, but Doesn't Provide Solution, February 19, 2006
This review is from: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Paperback)
I felt this book identified the problem extremely well. I could see how a relationship I've been in fits the description of a betrayal bond nearly perfectly. However, I was disappointed in that I did not think the solution was very clearly explained. In fact, p. 35 says that trauma bonds "can be formed almost instantaneously, but they can last forever," leaving me to wonder if there is any hope. p. 165 identifies the dimensions of recovery as healthy bonds, boundary development, role development, trauma resolution, systems change, sense of self, key metaphors, and a recovery plan. However, I did not feel that these dimensions (except perhaps the recovery plan) were adequately explained in the book. One final criticism is that the suggestion to develop healthy bonds seems to focus only on developing healthy bonds with a therapist and support groups. Not everyone is going to feel the need for therapy and support groups, if they have adequate support from significant people in their life. Why doesn't the author address the importance of forming healthy bonds with family and friends? I would think a trauma survivor would be better off with healthy, supportive relationships in their life in the form of family and friends, than to become dependent on a therapist and support group. I am not much of a believer in psychotherapy, so I did not find this particular book very useful. I would have liked concrete suggestions for how to detach from the person who I have this unhealthy bond with.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge is power!, May 22, 2012
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This review is from: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Paperback)
I picked up this book after a 3 yr toxic relationship. I was betrayed by lies, cheating, emotional cheating, manipulation, and just plain used. This book helped me through the pain. I still have it in my "personal library" and have shraed it with others who can't figure out why they are feeling a ping-pong dynamic. Not only was I betrayed by my ex-fiance, I learned why it was not like other relationships where I was betrayed. Why was this one different? Why was I holding onto the pain and anger of not only being betrayed by him, but by the other woman I met (and they were cheating) and his family (who know what he really is). This book helped me put things in perspective. If you read it and learn 1 thing, it's worth it.
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The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships
The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships by Patrick Carnes (Paperback - November 1, 1997)
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