Our research on developmental trauma began in the mid-1980s. Our heuristic research involved a subjective search through which we discovered the nature and meaning of early traumatic experiences on human development. Our research lead to the creation of methods and procedures for further investigation and analysis. In general, heuristic research methods help explain how and why people make decisions, come to judgments and solve their problems.
We began our heuristic research just after our marriage in 1984. During this period, Janae was working on her doctorate degree in psychology and Barry was working on the manuscript for Breaking Family Patterns and we began creating systemic models for understanding the impact of early developmental issues that had begun emerging in our relationship.
Our parallel and collaborative writing projects motivated us to learn everything we could about early childhood traumafrom conceptual, theoretical, clinical and personal perspectives. At the same time we began creating and testing a variety of clinical interventions, processes and practices for helping ourselves and others heal the effects of early trauma on our social and emotional development. At some point, we began referring to our relationship as a laboratorywhich ultimately created a deep and profound context for all that we did.
We first wrote about developmental trauma and its impact on human development in the 1989 edition of our book, Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap. We described developmental trauma in more detail in the 1992 edition of our book, Counter-dependency: The Flight From Intimacy. We first used the actual term “developmental trauma” in print in an article titled, Developmental Process Work in Marriage and Family Therapy in the September/October 1994, Vol. 2, Number 6 issue of the Family Counseling and Therapy Journal.
In 1987 we began co-teaching a Masters Degree course in conflict resolution in the Counseling and Human Services program at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs that recognized developmental trauma as the primary cause of conflict, particularly intractable conflicts. Between 1995 and 2000, Janae taught a four-course graduate level program based on developmental trauma in her Developmental Process Work classes at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
In 1997, Janae wrote the first draft of Healing Developmental Trauma, and continued working on the book periodically until 2008. At this time, she & Barry were offered a contract to publish the book as a textbook with Love Publishing in Denver, Colorado. The book was released in June of 2009 as Healing Developmental Trauma: A Systems Approach to Counseling Individuals, Couples and Families.