Dr. Steven Gold – Adults with adequate adaptive skills that have been interfered with by the impact of a single traumatic event enter treatment with an array of personal capacities (e.g., coping skills, judgment, a sense of efficacy) and environmental resources (e.g., social support, financial reserves) that are no where near as likely to be accessible to survivors of extended child abuse. The former group, therefore, even if they are highly symptomatic initially, have firmly rooted strengths to draw upon that greatly bolster their capacity to face and productively process trauma. The latter group, however, lacks these advantages. Consequently, even the routine stressors of daily adult living tax their capacities and can be destabilizing. It is unreasonable to expect that they are in a substantially better position to productively assimilate traumatic experiences than they were then those events originally occurred. Constructively addressing and resolving the extraordinary pressures inflicted by traumatic experience requires, at minimum, sufficient personal strengths and external resources to effectively navigate the exigencies of day to day functioning as an adult. This is the central goal toward which treatment grounded in an interpersonal conceptual framework guides us. Without these capacities, addressing trauma can only be expected to create further deterioration in already deficient coping abilities. Therapy that fosters the development of these capacities, on the other hand, simultaneously repairs much of the damage done both by abuse per se and by the unsupportive and controlling interpersonal context that is likely to have accompanied it.
Steven N. Gold, Ph.D. is a Professor at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Center for Psychological Studies in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He also founded and serves as Director of the Trauma Resolution Integration Program (TRIP) at NSU’s Psychological Services Center. Dr. Gold currently serves as president of the American Psychological Association (APA) Division of Trauma Psychology (56) and is a past president of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). He is editor of the APA Division 56 scientific journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, and was founding co-editor of the Journal of Psychological Trauma (formerly the Journal of Trauma Practice). Dr. Gold earned his doctoral degree at Michigan State University and his bachelor’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis.