Dr. Mark Schwartz Harmony Place Illustrates How Reenactment Works As a Response To Trauma

sexual abuse

Harmony Place Mark Schwartz recently outlined various ways that people deal with trauma. He stated that the drive to find healing and peace of mind can be as powerful and enduring as the impact of traumatic experiences.

For instance, an individual who suffered sexual or physical abuse may feel a strong urge to replicate experiences similar to the original traumatic events. The inextricable urge can be compulsive and severe. As such, many abused teenagers are drawn to sexual promiscuity or prostitution.

Minors who suffered physical abuse through beatings or witnessed battering are more likely to become abusers or seek abusive relationships. Some of the reenactments play out on the school grounds as students from abusive backgrounds fail to resist the allure of trauma’s grip. As a result, bullying becomes more prevalent in schools.

People who experience childhood abuse repeatedly find themselves trapped in fresh circles of trauma either as perpetrators or victims. Memories of their earlier trauma are typically nonverbal and dissociated. The repetition of the abusive experience is often blamed on the lack of awareness owing to the dissociative blockade.

In such cases, the mental blockade dissociates the unacceptable behavior from conscious control. Harmony Place Dr. Schwartz notes that the process of redressing the trauma starts with the survivor regaining control of any compulsive behavior. Doing so ends the cycle of experiences that recapitulate the original trauma.

Dr. Mark Schwartz Harmony Place clarified the dynamics of reenactment using a hypothetical example of a man abused for several years as a minor. The survivor suffered at the hands of an older brother starting at the age of six. Over time, the elder brother quietly entered the minor’s room and committed sexual offenses.

Unconcerned about the emotional and mental consequences on the victim, the older brother satisfied his sickening desires at the expense of a defenseless minor.

Several years later, the survivor finds himself reenacting the events by frequenting gay bathhouses. He allows multiple gay men to enter his room and sexually penetrate him. The men enter and leave the room without saying a single word.

According to Dr. Mark Schwartz, the example shows how survivors replicate early trauma as an unconscious attempt to conquer the experience. The reenactment induces an illusion of control. Schwartz emphasizes the need to distinguish these actions from mere experimentation conducted by individuals seeking new forms of arousal.

Trauma-based behavior

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Trauma-based behavior is compulsive and the survivor finds the urge to replicate events irresistible. With time, the compulsive urges become more absorbing and exclusive. The situation can escalate to a point where the risk of self-harm becomes intensive.

In some cases, the survivor may face de-personalization, which contributes to the escalation. The dissociative behavior may lead to a switch in executive control. Also, the individual may become aware that there is a momentary loss of control. It is possible that the survivor only recognizes signs of unregulated behavior by noticing injuries or soreness.

Yet, the individual fails to account for the experience because they have no recollection of the events.


Harmony Place Monterey is reputable that handles problems related to trauma and sexual abuse. Dr. Mark Schwartz stated that comprehensive cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention can resolve compulsive behavior involving trauma reenactments.

At his treatment center, the survivor will find healing and regain control by undergoing a 12-step program. However, he emphasizes the need for individuals to open up their emotional core. The treatment is ineffective with the dissociative disorder patient is not willing to fully commit to the process. Effective intervention requires clarity and targeting.


Dr. Mark Schwartz Harmony Place

Phone: 831 747 1727

This post was last modified on November 13, 2022 2:03 am

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