Relational Treatment of Trauma: Stories of loss and hope is the culmination of over 35 years of psychotherapy with children and adults, many of whom have suffered the effects of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. It addresses a gap in the literature on the treatment of trauma and chronic loss that are ubiquitous parts of life in foster care. While "trauma-informed care" has received considerable attention recently, there is little that focuses on the consequences of repeated, unexpected, and unexplained or unexplainable losses of caregivers. Relational Treatment of Trauma explores the ways in which those experiences arise in the therapeutic relationship and shows how to help clients build the trust necessary for establishing healthier, and more satisfying and hopeful relationships.

Toni Heineman introduces and reinforces the concept of the relationship as the most powerful agent of therapeutic change. She highlights the ways in which clinicians can build and sustain a relationship with clients whose experience of trauma can make them wary of trusting, illustrating this theme throughout the book with compelling case vignettes. 

The book is especially valuable for psychoanalysts, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and family therapists working with those who have suffered traumatic loss. It is essential reading for clinicians in the early part of their career, working with traumatized individuals for the first time.

Dr. Heineman has practiced in San Francisco for over 35 years, working with children, adults, and families. She is the founder and executive director of A Home Within. Dr. Heineman presents and publishes widely.

chapter |4 pages


section I|9 pages

Getting Started

chapter 1|5 pages

A Home within

A network to address the emotional needs of foster youth

section II|43 pages

The Dynamics of Attachment and Trauma

chapter 2|15 pages

Relationships Beget Relationships

The value of attachment theory

chapter 3|13 pages

How can You Treat What you cannot Speak?

chapter 4|13 pages

Good Guys and Bad Guys

The temptations of splitting

section III|44 pages

Systemic Impingements

chapter 5|20 pages

In Search of the Romantic Family

Unconscious contributions to problems in foster and adoptive placements

chapter 6|12 pages

Weaving without a Loom

Creating a self in foster care

chapter 7|10 pages

Hunger Pangs

Transference and countertransference in the treatment of foster children

section IV|44 pages

Treatment in the Context of Scarcity and Loss

chapter 8|10 pages

Disrupted Care and Disruptive Moods

Pediatric bipolar disorder in foster care children

chapter 9|14 pages

Infant–Parent Psychotherapy Minus One

chapter 10|18 pages

Learning to Say Goodbye

The deaths of three fathers

section V|22 pages

Back to Basics

chapter 11|20 pages

The Essence of Relationship-Based Therapy