Not the price of admission: Healthy relationships after childhood trauma

Not the Price of AdmissionI wrote this book because of my experience that many people who were abused, neglected, or otherwise given less-than-adequate experiences of attachment, love, and connection struggle in very predictable ways in their adult friendships, work relationships, and romantic relationships. Many survivors believe, consciously or otherwise, that they must pay a price to have anyone relate to them. Some of those prices are psychological–safety, self-respect, boundaries. Others are more direct, as when a survivor bears too much financial responsibility for an able-bodied adult partner. Adult survivors know that being exploited, used, and sometimes abused in their connections with others feels like normal life, even if they have come to know that it’s wrong.

Not the price examines how these core beliefs were set in place, and then explores the ways in which survivors can learn how to stop paying prices. It’s my hope that it will shed light for survivors on what have felt like, but need not be, painful or futile efforts to have good-enough love and connection in their adult lives.

Where to find


  • Laura Brown’s books, each one impossibly better than the one before, open our eyes and our hearts.  They help us heal and become more who we want to be.  Drawing on lessons learned from her personal life and decades of experience as an influential psychologist and pioneering feminist therapist, Laura has given us a wondrous gift–one she had to ransom from a neighborhood thief who invaded her home!–that will be soul-strengthening and perhaps even life-saving for many.
    Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., ABPP
    Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, co-author of What therapists don’t talk about and why
  • Laura Brown has done it again! Following her essential work in Your Turn for Care, she has given us another book that is delightfully authentic and readable, chock full of humor, honesty, compassion, and most importantly, realistic hope. How can people who have been terribly hurt by their caretakers in childhood ever learn to trust and love again? Dr. Brown explores this agonizing question with refreshing clarity, sharing stories that illustrate the tough issues and realistic solutions. She truly gets the impossible dilemma of desperately wanting emotional intimacy, yet being paralyzed by a belief that you are unlovable, and mired in the deep mistrust and confusion that only profound betrayal can engender. Dr. Brown offers realistic and compassionate pathways to (re)learn how to take the tough but essential risks of authentic connection with the right kind of people, so you longer feel you have to pay a price for love.
    Kathy Steele, MN, CS
    Co-author of Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists and The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization
  • For the multitudes who grew up with less than adequate caregiving, interpersonal connection can be fraught with darkness and danger. This book is the best one I have ever read on how to navigate with compassion and sensitivity the path from grieving deep attachment wounds to creating loving, empowered relationships. Dr. Brown writes with breadth, depth and expertise gleaned not only from her decades of work with clients, but also from her personal healing journey. Filled with insight, grace, hope and guidance, this book is a must-read for all survivors of trauma and those who care about them.
    Mavis Tsai, Ph.D.
    Co-Founder, Functional Analytic Psychotherapy, co-author of A Guide to Functional Analytic Psychotherapy: Awareness, Courage, Love and Behaviorism, and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy: Creating Intense and Curative Therapeutic Relationships.


Brown, L.S. (2015). Not the price of admission: Healthy relationships after childhood trauma.

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