In this episode of From Crisis to Connection, I interview KayLee Dunn, a therapist who specializes in treating betrayal trauma and sexual compulsivity. We discuss the common dynamic of the betraying partner emotionally shutting down in the relationship, which can trigger fears from the betrayed partner that she’s being abandoned, manipulated, or abused. For couples to heal, both partners ultimately need to regulate their own emotions as they learn how to share their needs with each other. It’s challenging to make room for the betrayer’s experience, but necessary for long-term relationship healing. We discuss the following:
- Why it’s hard to have empathy for the betrayer
- How the betrayed partner can have compassion without betraying herself
- The balance of expecting accountability while also inviting understanding of his experience
- The nature of shame in those who betray
- Fight/Flight/Freeze responses and shame
- Why it’s hard to see the hurting/fearful/shameful guy
- “Quiet blame” and the damage it does
- What to do with a partner who is dysregulated
- How emotional dysregulation isn’t always abuse or narcissism
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KayLee Dunn has been studying sexual and addiction/compulsivity and betrayal for 14 years and practicing as a therapist for 9 of those years. KayLee has extensive training in Attachment-Focused EMDR, Betrayal Trauma, Sexual Compulsivity, and Emotionally Focused Therapy. She has written articles, books, and podcasts on the topic. KayLee’s biggest passion is to help her client heal from past traumas, see the present clearly, and ultimately build betrayal resilience. She currently co-facilitates a weekly free, private betrayal trauma group discussion for women across the world. For more of her work follow her on Instagram or YouTube.