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An Interview with Holli Kenley, MA, on Surviving Betrayal

David Van Nuys, Ph.D.
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Holli Kenley, MAMs. Kenley became highly attuned to the idea of betrayal after noting it as a common theme in multiple clients and dealing with it in her own life. Her efforts to understand what people refer to when they say "betrayed" resulted in her identification of three common experiences or states of being: confusion, worthlessness, and powerlessness, which she describes as stages that occur in that order, respectively. The difficulty a person will have in processing a betrayal and moving through these stages is affected by multiple factors, including one's personality or ego strength, the degree to which the betrayal affects identity investments in particular social roles, and the chronicity of the betrayal (whether it is a single event or a recurring theme). People who have experienced multiple and chronic betrayals may find that they are dealing with a pool of residual betrayal, in that they have come to identify themselves as a victim and self-effiacy is low. Such stored or institutionalized betrayal must be addressed and worked through in therapy or the client's progress may stall. An important componant of this work involves helping the client move from a passive/victim core sense of self to a more active and empowered persona capable of self-authorship and able to "right" herself. This shift from passive victim identity to a self-authoring identity opens up the possibility of anger and blame, which must also be worked through so as not to become the new basis for the client's identity, as this is also a trap.

David Van Nuys: Welcome to Wise Counsel, a podcast interview series sponsored by CenterSite, LLC, covering topics in mental health, wellness, and psychotherapy. My name is Dr. David Van Nuys. I'm a clinical psychologist and your host.

On today's show we'll be talking with marriage and family therapist Holli Kenley about surviving betrayal. Holli Kenley, MA, received her master's degree in psychology and is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of California. While interning in a women's shelter, Holli first became interested in the treatment of abuse, trauma, addiction, grief, loss and betrayal. Holli went on to work in a large faith-based counseling center before moving into private practice, where she continued treating individuals, couples, and families with a range of issues and disorders. Holli is the author of two books: Breaking through Betrayal: Recovering the Peace Within, and The PMS Puzzle.

Now, here's the interview.

Holli Kenley, welcome to Wise Counsel.

Holli Kenley: Thank you so much, David, for having me today. It's sure great to be here.

David: Well, wonderful. You've done a lot of therapeutic work around betrayal, and I've been reading your book, Breaking through Betrayal: Recovering the Peace Within. Now, how did you come to be interested in the topic of betrayal?

Holli Kenley: Well, David, it's kind of a long story, so I'll keep it as brief as I can, but as far back as 2003, I really became focused on this issue of betrayal. Dealing largely in the areas of abuse and trauma and addiction, of course this word, this issue came up repeatedly. However, I was just really fascinated by the fact that I wasn't seeing the level of healing or recovery from my clients. Even though I felt I was addressing it, I just didn't feel like I was seeing the level of healing that I would like them to experience. Again, that was around 2003.

As the economy started to take a turn, at least in the area I was in, around 2005, I had more and more clients coming in, feeling betrayed on all different kinds of levels: politically, financially, materially, professionally. And so I really began to focus in on it. And what I kept asking myself were three questions. The first question was am I hearing and am I picking up on, am I aware of, all the different precipitating factors or triggers, if you will, of betrayal? So, am I really open and aware to that? That was the first question.

Number two: I kept asking myself, when my clients say, "I am betrayed; I feel betrayed" by someone or something, what does that mean? What is the client experiencing? They may be showing symptoms or manifestations like depression or anger or anxiety, but what is going on underneath that? What are they feeling and what are they experiencing? That was the second question.

David: Okay.

Holli Kenley: And then the third one was, if there was something unique, different, that I was not picking up on, how was I addressing it? What was I doing to intervene and to assess and treat it? So that question very much intrigued me.

David: Okay, well, we'll get into those questions more deeply as we move along. I'm intrigued by the personal dimension as well, and I hope this isn't too personal, but in your book, you allude to betrayal by a family member for yourself, but you don't go into any detail. Maybe you're not comfortable doing that, and I won't press you.

Holli Kenley: No, I don't mind speaking in generalities about it because it was important that, right about the time - a little bit before, actually, but also during this time that I was very much thinking about this issue of betrayal - a family member and I in a relationship that it had to be there - it was a piece that I couldn't walk away from for various reasons - but I kept reinvesting into this individual, hoping that the relationship could be more healthy and better for both of us. And every time I - not every time, but almost every time - I found myself reinvesting into this individual, I felt betrayed.

And so it was very important, especially at that time because I was pulling together my evaluation and analysis of different client cases, past and present. I noticed those, which we will probably talk about later, those three states of being: the confusion, the worthlessness, and the powerlessness. I noticed that every time I felt betrayed by this person, I went through these states of being. So it's very much connected to what I felt my clients were experiencing and the emotions that they were going through and the feelings and the manifestations.

David: Okay, well, thank you for that. I think it's important to realize that you had some… that it wasn't a purely intellectual exercise. In fact, you were relating to this issue deeply on a personal level as well. Shifting ground just a little bit, I was really struck by the sort of homage you paid to the DSM in your preface. Not everyone values it so highly, but you seem to. Talk a little bit about that, because I thought what you said about the DSM in the preface was very interesting.

Holli Kenley: Well, gosh, David, a couple of things come to mind. One is that when we're coming up with what I think is kind of a new approach or a new perspective, a new idea - and I allude to this in that preface as well - I know that people can be skeptical, and they can be wary of what one is saying. And in essence I'm saying that I think - it's my belief - that betrayal is a singular issue in and of itself, very much like depression or anxiety or another Axis I disorder, and so that's a pretty profound perspective to take. And so I wanted to be very careful on that viewpoint, on how I was presenting it, and saying I am by no means saying that these other disorders or clinical issues are not worthy and valuable. And in fact I as a therapist must always keep them at the front of my thinking and my treatment and assessment. So I was really wanting to make sure that I was keeping this as important I think that this is information is on betrayal and the new way of looking at it. I just wanted to make especially sure that other therapists and clinicians were aware that I was not making this a catchall.

Which kind of leads to my second point that in my first career I was a teacher, and I know that very oftentimes different modalities and fads and different ideas would come along, and it was like these were the savior of the classroom. If you'll just grab hold of cooperative learning or whatever the tendency or the trend was at the time, this will really solve your problems and make your job easier, and all the other implications.

David: Yes, a panacea, if you will.

Holli Kenley: Yes, absolutely. So I didn't want to give that impression either, that this is just another way of looking at betrayal. And then lastly, David, I'd just like to interject that I've worked so long with the DSM-IV and it has served me so well, and I do see it as such an absolutely valuable - I mean, it's mandatory for me as a therapist to use that as my guiding principle for assessment and intervention and treatment.

David: Right. And certainly that's what came across to me, was that you do value it as a tool. And I can see that politically you were feeling the need to be careful not to tread on any toes around that. And what really came across is that, while betrayal presents a huge problem, it doesn't exactly fall under any of the DSM categories, right?

Holli Kenley: Right, yes.

David: The first thing that I thought of in response to the word betrayal is marital infidelity, perhaps because of Tiger Woods and all the political types who've recently been exposed. But your book really suggests a much broader range of ways in which people feel betrayed. Maybe you can expand on that. For example, you were talking about the economy, but what are some of the other ways in which people feel betrayed?

Holli Kenley: Yes, absolutely. David, again, it especially came to my attention during that period of time, but people feeling professionally betrayed was a huge issue that was coming in, and of course is still continuing today; people who had invested so much into their careers and their professions. And I have an example of a client if you would like me to talk about that a bit.

David: Yes, sure.

Holli Kenley: Okay. I was seeing a client. Actually it was one of those - I don't know if I can say easy clients - but it was one of these clients that was coming in for some professional growth and trying to find some balance in her life. And you know when you see those clients on your books, you think, oh, good - one that's not quite as challenging in certain ways. So I'd been seeing her for about three months, and we were working on just some professional growth, and she was a career woman. She was married; she didn't have children. Her career was very, very important to her. She was heavily invested into her career. It really made up a lot of her worth and identity and personal significance.

And after about three months into the therapy, she was abruptly let go from the company that she worked for, and she was very high up in the company, in management. And there was no notification, nothing prior to let her know that this was going to happen. It was very abrupt. And so she came in and of course she was devastated. For her, David, when watching her… so what was interesting at that point - I was well into my studying of betrayal at that point - is I saw her first hand go through that first state of being that I call worthlessness. And she didn't stay there too long because she was a pretty analytical type A person and had very strong ego strengths and sense of being and core. So she moved through that pretty quickly. But when she moved into that second state of being that I call worthlessness, she was completely broken. Her identity was stripped from her: who she was, her role, all her value - or so much of her value - was just immediately robbed, and she was really redefined as a person without this title and without this position.

So we spent the majority of our time really working as we're doing that processing of that piece of the recovering. I spent a lot of time on that state of being. The third state of being I call powerlessness, and because of who she was and her circumstances, she didn't spend a lot of time worrying about her or having to process how do I change this and how do get control over it. She, again because of who she was, was able to move through that state of being pretty well. But what was important and is important as we look at these states of being - the confusion, the worthlessness, the powerlessness - is, as therapists, as we're processing that and assessing that, that gives us key indicators on how we're going to be needing to address and intervene in the recovering process.

So that was one example of someone who came in and was devastated on a professional level.

David: Yes, so you've mentioned that we can feel betrayed by the government, by employers - as in this example that you've just given - sexual abuse, parental abandonment. Those are just some of the other areas. You know, I always look for kind of a personal tie-in - how do I relate to this - and my first reaction was that I couldn't connect personally to the topic. But then with a little bit more reflection, a couple of incidents came to mind. One was getting ripped off for $10,000 for a professional training that promised a money-back guarantee. And I felt like the training didn't deliver on the promises that were made, but when I tried to invoke the money-back guarantee, the woman wouldn't answer my calls or emails, and I was having fairly murderous fantasies for a while, but finally decided I needed to just let go and move on. And maybe that's why nothing came to mind immediately. Maybe I really succeeded pretty well in letting go of it. Of course, as I think of it now, it does tend to kind of get reactivated, and I can easily get mad all over again.

Holli Kenley: Yes, David. I think that one of the key things that I discovered as I was analyzing betrayal is there's a chapter that I have on "How long and to what degree will I feel this way?" And there are a couple of really key components to that. The first one is the degree of investment, trust, or belief. And obviously there can be exceptions and there's so many different cases and kinds of betrayal, but there's a general underlying principle that the degree to which one invests trust or believes in something is proportional to the degree of injury from betrayal.

So maybe perhaps taking your example that of course there was the loss, but perhaps the degree that you had invested, whether it be financial or attitudinal or whatever the investment might be, that you were able to reconcile that more quickly because the initial investment wasn't as… and degree can mean long-term; it can be how much; it can be personal, financial, relational. So all of those factors contribute to the degree of injury. And so that might have something to do with it.

And then the second one, another important piece as far as how long and to what degree will I feel this way is the degree of occurrence, meaning how often and to what degree you were exposed to the betrayer and/or the betrayal environment. And so, as you said just a moment ago, when you called that experience up, it did retrigger it in just maybe in a milder form. But you did feel yourself experiencing that again to some degree. So if there isn't that chronic or ongoing or recurrent exposure to the betrayer or the betrayal environment, we're often able to navigate through it a little more easily or a little bit more quickly.

David: Yes, I can understand that, and I guess a part of what you've discovered about the wounds of betrayal is that they can run quite deep if there's a recurring situation and if it's particularly traumatic. Maybe you could give us an example of that kind of betrayal.

Holli Kenley: Okay, yes, David. I would love to. One of the most difficult betrayals to work with, what I've discovered, is when you have a client who has multiple betrayals, which is oftentimes the case. And I had a client; she and her husband came in. Infidelity had taken place in the marriage, and they both came in, and the goal was, after initial assessment, was to keep the marriage together, to work on it. And so we did that, for both said they were invested into doing that.

So we were working on that for about three months, and I kind of detected that the husband was not really as invested as he initially had disclosed. And over the next about two months or so, he stopped coming to therapy and was clear that he was not wanting to end the other relationship and he was not wanting to stay in the marriage. So the female and I continued to work together, and she began to say statements like, "I'm always abandoned. I've always been rejected. I've never been good enough," and statements like this.

And so as we began to work together, I had her do some exercises, one that I often have my clients that have brought trauma and abuse in their background, where it's again how I do my intake and processing with clients who I feel that there's quite a bit of trauma or abuse in their background. But over this exercise and this period of time, I indeed came to find out that there were multiple betrayals in her background, going back as far as her mother passing away when she was a child and her feeling abandoned; and then her father remarrying and a lot of physical, emotional and verbal abuse from not only her father, but her stepmother. Also ongoing abuse from her siblings and also peers at school in her adolescent and teen years because she was quite overweight. And then also going into a marriage where now there was this infidelity.

So there was this pool of betrayals, and what's important about that is that I was asked that at a recent workshop: so then is the client cycling through the confusion, the worthlessness and the powerlessness again, or is there this residual pool of these emotions and feelings? And I said, yes, there is. So what I try to hone in on, especially with this client, it was again her feelings of… the confusion was certainly there, but the worthlessness was extremely significant, and of course the powerlessness was significant as well. But so much injury done to her esteem and her worth and her value as a being and an individual.

So I worked with her just on processing all of that for probably about six months before we ever got to the second part of the book, which is the recovering program or strategies to begin really piecing things together, because there was so much betrayal in her background.

David: Sure. Well, that's a great example. And something that you alluded to at the beginning of our conversation, as well as in the book, is that in working with people not necessarily around betrayal, but just in a your regular counseling therapy work, it would seem like the clients would get better to a certain point and then they would hit a plateau, until you discovered that there were unresolved issues of betrayal that were stalling the healing process. So after making that discovery, did you find then that you were able to move beyond that plateau point?

Holli Kenley: Yes, I did, because what I was doing is, whether with sexual abuse, recovery work… and I want to also say, David, some of the strategies that I was using for sexual abuse recovery work - because that is a specialty, an area I spent a lot of time in - were applicable to betrayal recovering. But it wasn't until I really tapped into the underlying feelings, experiences, states of being of betrayal - gosh, you're feeling really confused about why your stepfather would betray you and molest you. You're feeling really worthless because other members of the family have sided with him or with her, and you're not feeling supported and validated in what you experience. And you're feeling powerless to change that because, again, other family members or people are rallying around the betrayer, and the legal system is not supporting you. And on and on. So, yes, once I was able to connect… and I'm very Rogerian in my front loading of treatments and how I approach a client. Once I was able to have that openness with experience and unconditional positive regard and share those words and connect with my clients by putting those words out there, it just felt so real and so genuine, and yes, I saw something come alive in my clients. I mean, I know I felt it when I worked on this myself with the betrayal I was feeling. So, yes, I did.

David: Well, we've sort of touched on pieces of it in the conversation, but you've developed your own approach to working therapeutically with betrayal. Take us through the steps involved in that, if you can outline the overall approach.

Holli Kenley: Okay, yes, I will. David, as you said, I set it up in the book. The first part is breaking through betrayal. And that is so important, as I've talked about; is connecting with your clients and working through those three states of being. And while I'm doing that, I am giving them a few cognitive exercises, as you've seen as you read through that first part, just to give them hope and to unhook them just a little bit, because as clients are going through those three states of being - the confusion, the worthlessness, the powerlessness - there's so much energy being expended outward towards trying to re-secure truths and reclaim one's sense of self and all of that.

So I share that because there's no timeline for how long it's going to take you to get through that with a client. Like I said with that one client with the multiple betrayals, it took us a good six months to get through there. So it's really important that, until you start to see that shift in your client where you've been able to unhook them just a little bit and get their focus inward instead of the blame and resentment going outward, that that starts to take place.

Because Chapter 1 leads me to the first piece - not Chapter 1, but the first chapter in the recovering, the peace within - is right yourself. And what I mean by that is that a client has to be willing, even if it's on a moment-by-moment basis - and hopefully a little longer - turn their energy inward and focus on the work within themselves. That they have to be willing to not wait for something or someone else to make it right, and they have to be willing to do the work.

David: Right.

Holli Kenley: And that's why I call it "right yourself." Does that make sense?

David: Yes, yes, it does. Is there another step, then, after that?

Holli Kenley: Yes, there is. And of course there's more things to do in that piece if your clients are still regressing or relapsing a bit and going back into the blame mode, which of course might happen if they're being re-triggered or re-injured. So that absolutely can be happening.

Once I feel and once I'm working with a client and they're really engaged into that, their whole process of righting oneself - and by the way, that is empowering themselves. They're taking that state of powerlessness that they're coming from… you know, I share with clients, there are so many things that are out of our control, but one thing that is in your control is the power to right yourself. So that's, again, just a really important concept that they're embracing that.

So once we're there and that's happening, then the second piece is called "rigor and readiness." Now, David, I just want to say one thing here because, as therapists, we are always, from the very beginning when our clients walk in the door, assessing our clients' rigor and readiness. Are they depressed? Are they having panic attacks? That's something, of course, that we're doing all along in our journeys with our clients. I put this secondly because especially, if you will, the average lay person is picking up this book and they are not doing well - if they're in a depression or something is going on with them - I want to give them some sources and some resources, some ways and some suggestions to seek out professional help if needed - medical and/or clinical help if needed.

David: Good.

Holli Kenley: Again, we're doing it as we move along, but if someone's working individually, I wanted to make sure that I put that in there and made clear that they may need additional help. But this is also a chapter in addition to that, an opportunity to set goals with clients, to take a look at what their support systems are, just a general overall assessment of their level of a rigor that it's going to take to do the work, and their readiness and the supports that they have to build around that as we continue on. So that's what the second part is about, is the readiness and rigor.

And then once we're moving through that, we move on to the third large piece, which is called "revive and restore mind, body, and spirit." And as you could see, there are several parts to that one.

David: Yes. That sounds like a big order.

Holli Kenley: Yes. Do you want me to talk about that a little bit?

David: Sure.

Holli Kenley: Okay. David, I basically broke this down into three subsections. And the first part is called "internal and external cleansing." This whole section is talking about, as I said, reviving and restoring your mind, body, and your spirit. And in my book, I give the comparison, the metaphor, the simile, if you will, that being betrayed is very much like experiencing an earthquake and the devastation and the destruction of an earthquake. And before we can really begin to rebuild, we really need to go in and do some internal assessing and cleansing and external assessing and cleansing.

And what I mean by that, David, is that I found that, although there are lots of internal injuries, emotional injuries, that two of the most important ones when we've been betrayed is the loss of our voice and what it matters and what it means, and secondly, our loss of respect and self-respect. That those two things were not valued or they weren't important to the betrayer or the betrayal environment; otherwise, probably we wouldn't have been betrayed if they were valued or valued to the degree that we felt that they should have been valued. So I spend some time with the clients having them reassess their voices and their self-respect, and getting them doing exercises to rebuild those and to reclaim those.

And a couple things, just a side note, David, here: in all my philosophy in this whole section is that when we're betrayed, we want to protect ourselves from ongoing or reoccurring betrayal injury if we can, and so that's important, and we want to honor ourselves and our experience. But at the same time, we also want to propel ourselves forward, empower ourselves to grow and to heal and to give ourselves some new challenges. So I definitely don't want to give the impression that I want clients to remain a victim, because that is absolutely the antithesis of my philosophy.

David: You know, that triggers a question that I had wanted to ask you, and you had mentioned blame in passing before. And I imagine you want the person to get in touch with their sense of betrayal on the one hand, and on the other, I was wondering if there is a danger of clients getting stuck in what some people might call the "blame game." How do you avoid that?

Holli Kenley: Oh, David, there absolutely is. And as we're going through - if we're backing up just a little bit and going back through those states of being, I give them exercise to release… I mean, they have every right to be blame-filled and angry and resentful. I definitely, again, want to make that clear. But to look at what's… when we do that, we're re-injuring ourselves and we're holding ourselves hostage to the betrayer or the betrayal environment. We're staying connected to them; we're tethered to them through that anger and that resentment. So I do give them quite a few exercises to work on letting go of that. It might be a writing exercise; it might be a role-play exercise, depending on the client and the strategies that work well for him or her. But going back and reminding them of that principle, that as long as you remain there, you're tethered to your betrayer, and we want to keep righting our self and keep focusing on the energy that needs to go inward.

But if there are reoccurring betrayals - for example, let's say that a client that has to go back to court or face the betrayer in a custody situation - that's difficult, and it is hard work, but it can be done.

David: So it's important initially to get in touch with the pain and the anger and the sense of betrayal and the woundedness, but at some point, there's a letting go that needs to take place as well.

Holli Kenley: Absolutely, David, and I have that chapter later on or that section later on in my recovering peace, but mainly because I want to make sure that it is there. But many clients are able to tap into that, whether it's forgiveness or letting go, releasing - whatever the strategies or processes that they're comfortable with in implementing. If they're ready to do that, absolutely utilizing that along the way is important, yes.

David: Okay. As I mentioned earlier, there've been some very high profile news stories about public figures caught in marital infidelities. But in fact, marital infidelity is pretty widespread, isn't it?

Holli Kenley: You know, David, gosh. It sure seems as though it is.

David: I'm just wondering if we have an unrealistic set of expectations for marriage.

Holli Kenley: It's so funny. I was talking about this with my husband just yesterday. We were just driving back from Southern California and talking about this in depth. You know, I really don't know. I think it's a topic that I'd like to think more about, I'd like to spend some more time on. The piece that of course I'm so invested in right now, that's so important to me, is that what I see a lot of clients doing or my perception of people in the news, is that they're holding… as I alluded to a minute ago, they're held in hostage - or at least again it perceives it to be - depending on what the betrayer does. You know, if Tiger Woods… he's already been somewhat received as a hero again back on the golf course. Well, what's going on with Elin? What is she doing, and whoever the one that's been betrayed, what is he or she doing to heal those inner wounds so that he or she can make a decision from a healthy or somewhat healed place about whether they even want to stay in the relationship or not?

David: Well, let me ask, in your experience, does the betrayed marriage partner ever completely get over the infidelity?

Holli Kenley: That's a hard question to answer because if the individual who's been betrayed had an opportunity to work on the betrayal and what that has done to him or her, and worked and achieved a healing place from there so that he or she can make a decision about whether he or she wants to stay in the marriage; and of course coupled with what the betrayer does or doesn't do. I don't want to give the impression that you don't keep that into consideration with conjoint therapy or family therapy, whatever's going on. But it shouldn't be solely contingent upon what the betrayer does or doesn't do. So my answer to that question would be that there is certainly hope when both of those things are taken into consideration.

David: Okay.

Holli Kenley: Does that answer what…?

David: Yes, it does.

Holli Kenley: It's a hard question.

David: That's partly why I asked it, because it is a hard question, and I think it's one that so many therapists and people struggle with. Your book is basically a self-help book. How far do you think people suffering from betrayal can get on their own using your book? And how can they know whether they should be seeing a therapist?

Holli Kenley: Okay, that's such an important question, David. I think that if, as we talked a little bit ago, if they're into that section on rigor and readiness that - and it may happen before then, because I do put out that if you're feeling this or that, you may want to consult a professional even a little earlier on - but if they're getting to that part, I make it pretty darn clear that if these kinds of behaviors or thoughts or thinking is going on, to very much consider these options. And so I hope that that's pretty self-evident as they're reading that.

Also, something that I did in the book that I hope will also wake people up and encourage them to look outside if they need to are these self-assessments, if you will, at the beginning of each chapter in the recovering section. And I know it's not a guarantee, but at least it's there that they'll take a look at. And what I have is on a scale of one to ten assessing themselves and where they are and how they're feeling. And if they're scoring really high and that they are not functioning well, whether they're not responding well and their overall level of functioning in an area, that they will then again seek a different source of help or assistance. And you have to forgive me; I got that just backwards - if they're scoring low on this assessment. So I do have that at the beginning of each of the recovering pieces, and within some of the subsections as well, where they're doing this self-assessment. So I'm hoping that would motivate them as well.

David: Okay, well, as we wind down, Holli, is there anything you'd like to add?

Holli Kenley: Gosh, I think that what we said at the beginning, David, that human nature is so complex and so complicated that this is one additional tool for people to use who have been betrayed, and it is not "the" answer, but I believe that it's an important tool, an important piece that will bring some much needed relief and release and recovery for any kind of betrayal. I just have a little saying that I use, "That I believe, know, and trust that wellness awaits each of us. We choose the time." So I just want to encourage many listeners that may not be in a well or whole place, that there's always this moment, this time, that you can begin.

David: Well, that's a great place for us to wrap it up, and you are very encouraging. I can hear it in your voice. Holli Kenley, thanks so much for being my guest on Wise Counsel.

Holli Kenley: David, thank you so much. It has been an honor and I thank you and appreciate it so very much.

David: I certainly hope you've enjoyed this interview with marriage and family therapist Holli Kenley. Betrayal is a painful subject if you've ever been the victim of it. If listening to this interview triggered any feelings about past betrayals, you might benefit from reading Holli's book. Or, if you're a mental health professional, it might be something that you'd want to have on hand to share with any clients for whom it might be appropriate. I think this is an interesting area in which Holli is doing what may be pioneering work. Perhaps there are others who have focused on this issue that I've not run across. In any event, I think she's put a lot of thought into this issue and developed a useful approach and set of tools. If you're interested to learn more, you might wish to visit her website at

You've been listening to Wise Counsel, a podcast interview series sponsored by CenterSite, LLC.

If you like Wise Counsel, you might also like ShrinkRapRadio, my other interview podcast series, which is available online at Until next time, this is Dr. David Van Nuys, and you've been listening to Wise Counsel.


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About Holli Kenley, MA

Holli Kenley, MAHolli Kenley, M.A. received her Masters Degree in Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California. While interning in a women's shelter, Holli first became interested in the treatment of abuse, trauma, addiction, grief/loss and betrayal. Holli went on to work in a large faith-based counseling center before moving into private practice where she continued treating individuals, couples, and families with a range of issues and disorders. Holli is the author of two books: Breaking Through Betrayal: And Recovering The Peace Within (January 2010 - Loving Healing Press) and The PMS Puzzle (1993 - Joy Publishing).