Why Blame Is So Toxic for Trauma Recovery

Accountability is crucial for sound mental health.

Remember the old phrase, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones"? The proverb appeared in Chaucer's 1385 retelling of the tale of Troilus and Criseyde. Later, George Herbert modified it this way: “Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another.” And in 1736, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Don't throw stones at your neighbors, if your own windows are glass.”

I write from the perspective of trauma recovery from dysfunctional families, particularly those led by parental narcissism. My books discuss the effects of being married to, in relationship with, or growing up with narcissistic parents, including my new release, Will the Drama Ever End? Untangling and Healing From the Harmful Effects of Parental Narcissism. The most important part of this passion is healing and recovery, not blame. I strongly believe and have found in my clinical experience that if we hold onto blame, we never recover. Recovery from trauma is truly an inside job. I am not saying that the past is the past, so get over it already; we do have to process trauma. Let me explain.

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