Blind to Betrayal: Why We Fool Ourselves We Aren't Being Fooled

Blind to Betrayal: Why We Fool Ourselves We Aren't Being Fooled

by Jennifer Freyd, Pamela Birrell

Paperback(First Edition)

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One of the world's top experts on betrayal looks at why we often can't see it right in front of our faces

If the cover-up is worse than the crime, blindness to betrayal can be worse than the betrayal itself. Whether the betrayer is an unfaithful spouse, an abusive authority figure, an unfair boss, or a corrupt institution, we often refuse to see the truth order to protect ourselves. This book explores the fascinating phenomenon of how and why we ignore or deny betrayal, and what we can gain by transforming "betrayal blindness" into insight.

  • Explains the psychological phenomenon of "betrayal blindness", in which we implicitly choose unawareness in order to avoid the risk of seeing treachery or injustice
  • Based on the authors' substantial original research and clinical experience carried out over the last decade as well as their own story of confronting betrayal
  • Filled with fascinating case studies involving unfaithful spouses, abusive authority figures and corrupt institutions, to name a few

In a remarkable collaboration of science and clinical perspectives, Jennifer Freyd, one of the world's top experts on betrayal and child abuse, teams up with Pamela Birrell, a psychotherapist and educator with 25 years of experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470604403
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 03/11/2013
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 585,294
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

JENNIFER FREYD, PhD, is one of the world's leading experts on betrayal and childhood abuse, and she has conducted substantial original research on the topic over the last decade. A tenured professor at the University of Oregon, Dr. Freyd wrote a classic professional book on betrayal, Betrayal Trauma.

PAMELA BIRRELL, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and senior instructor in the Psychology Department at the University of Oregon. She received her PhD in psychology from the University of Oregon in 1973.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Blind to Betrayal 1

2 Children Betrayed 10

3 The Wide Reach of Betrayal Blindness 20

4 Blind Adherence 35

5 Why Blindness? 49

6 Knowing and Not Knowing 62

7 Mental Gymnastics 71

8 Insights from Research 84

9 Betrayal Blindness Is Toxic 96

10 The Risks of Knowing 114

11 The Healing Power of Knowing 130

12 The Healing Power of Telling 141

13 Speaking Our Truth 153

14 Now I See: Facing Betrayal Blindness 162

Recommended Reading 175

Notes 177

Index 193

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Blind to Betrayal: Why We Fool Ourselves We Aren't Being Fooled 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
NHalstead More than 1 year ago
I read Jennifer Freyd’s first book Betrayal Trauma in the late 1990s. The awareness that book brought me set me on the path that I have been on for more than a decade now--back to college and on to graduate school to become a counselor and educator--to discover the psychological mechanisms which allow cycles of abuse and trauma to continue generation after generation in this culture. With my own voice and the voices of   so many sexual assault survivors I’ve talked with through the years echoing in my mind, I began seriously asking why, for so many of us, it seemed somehow “easier” to forgive a perpetrator than it was to forgive those around us who may have known, should have known, or did know, but did not step in to help. Why does this still haunt so many of us in our adult relationships? Jennifer Freyd gave me a name for the deepest pain I was feeling--we were feeling--and showed how “betrayal trauma” could carry with it long-standing and far-reaching physical, mental, and spiritual effects.  Imagine my surprise when, nearly a decade after I had read that first book, as an undergraduate psychology major at the University of Oregon, I found myself registering for a Psychology of Trauma course taught by Jennifer Freyd. As luck would have it, I had also taken a Psychopathology course from Pam Birrell that had led me to see “clients” as people, therapists as human, the relationship between them based in equality and mutual respect, and many (if not most) symptoms of “mental illness” as reasonable (even if seemingly unhelpful) reactions to a person’s individual life circumstances. This book greatly expands on Betrayal Trauma Theory to thoroughly explore the dynamics of betrayal blindness, a mechanism which helps insure our individual survival when we find ourselves in the untenable position of losing our own safety or losing our bonds with those we depend upon for nurturance, protection, and a sense of belonging. With precisely the right blend of reliable science, personal narrative, and case study analysis, these two amazing women take us on a guided journey to examine betrayal blindnes--all the way from the most intimate, personal level to the collective, institutional level. I do not simply recommend this book. I implore you to read it, encourage you to share it with as many people as possible, and challenge you to apply it not only to your own life, but to the individuals and institutions which claim to serve you. I see the awareness this book brings and the widespread healing it could lead to as absolutely vital to building the sane and sustainable communities we must create in this society.