Having trauma is hard. Being in a relationship is hard. Having to navigate trauma histories while being in a queer relationship in today’s society is really freaking hard! Trauma changes us—our sense of safety, our beliefs about ourselves and the world, and even our body chemistry. However, it is possible to identify it, explore it, and work through it to create healthier and more positive relationships. It is possible to develop compassion for yourself and your partner(s), to better understand various reactions and responses. And it is possible to work individually and together to get everyone’s needs met, while also holding space for each other’s journey.
In Our Deepest Roots: Navigating Past Trauma to Build Healthier Queer Relationships, Dr. Jen Towns shares stories from her own personal and professional experiences to explore how trauma in childhood or adulthood, combined with being part of the queer community, can impact intimacy, attachment, and our everyday interactions with those closest to us. By noticing the underlying attachment needs that drive our emotions and somatic reactions, we can be more aware of our patterns, better understand ourselves and our partners, and open the door to enhanced communication and compassion. Dr. Towns offers a guide to pull back the curtain and clear the path to deeper connections, intimacy, and healing.
Dr. Jen Towns is a trauma therapist, a social work professor, a queer woman, and a trauma survivor. She has worked in the social work field for over two decades – providing clinical treatment in a variety of settings and specializing in complex interpersonal trauma and relationships. Dr. Towns also teaches social work in higher education and has been a member of many workgroups that focus on advancing equality and social justice through education, therapy, and political action. She currently resides in Michigan with her wife, daughters, and two goldendoodles.Learn More
I highly recommend Our Deepest Roots to anyone who is navigating the complexities of trauma in their relationships. Dr. Towns’ compassionate and insightful approach is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to build healthier and more fulfilling connections with themselves and others.
This book is long overdue. As Dr. Jen Towns so clearly describes, few members of the LGBTQIA community make it to adulthood without the burden of trauma. The challenges inherent in adult relationships can seem insurmountable. Dr. Towns is a gifted trauma therapist with a deep and personal understanding of the impact of such trauma on adult relationships. In a clear, coherent, and personal way, she provides a tool kit to help couples develop healthy and loving partnerships.
—Stacey Chipman, DHSc, LPC
While I was reviewing this book, four words came to mind: insightful, compassionate, empathic, and deep. Dr. Towns has managed to capture the lived experience of trauma and present it back to the reader as if looking into a mirror. This will truly be a groundbreaking book in the field of trauma.
—Nick Erber, PhD, MA
This book provides an overview of some of the impacts that traumatic experience can have on relationships. Make no mistake, each of these topics – trauma and relationships – could fill a library. The power of this book is in the unique perspectives provided by the author. Dr. Towns is an experienced clinician with a focus on treating trauma and a member of the LGQBTQIA+ community, familiar with the range of marginalizing, sensitizing interactions that permeate that experience. This alone could provide a powerful and important lens for an examination of these issues. But Dr. Towns brings us into her own life – her own marriage - in a very intimate and courageous way to show the reader how trauma, identity, early relational templates, and ‘what happened to us’ all play out in our most important loving relationships – in good ways and bad. I highly recommend Our Deepest Roots. The key points can be generalized to non-LGBTQIA+ relationships and carry the key message that all relationships are fragile and fraught yet full of hope and fulfillment.
—Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., Principal, The Neurosequential Network, Professor (Adjunct), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Feinberg School of Medicine