THERAPY FOR TRAUMA
Understanding Trauma, PTSD, and Complex Trauma
When discussing trauma, we typically think of PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, which results from a single exposure or event. The term “trauma,” however, also encompasses a lesser known type of trauma called complex trauma or C-PTSD—complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
The good news is that victims of trauma can recover. Trauma recovery work requires a specialized sequence of skills that addresses the various targets that arise during treatment. Help is available at Therapy Fort Worth and Counseling Center even for those who have suffered horrific circumstances. We use a research-based, multimodal approach to identify, soothe, and reprocess targets, which results in a more unified and calmer relationship with the original trauma(s).
To learn more about these types of trauma, please see the symptoms and specific differences below.
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You’re no longer enjoying the things you enjoyed before. It’s difficult for you to engage with the people you love because you’re afraid of surprise situations—even something as slight as a door banging loudly—that you cannot prepare for. You’ve found that the only way for you to truly function is to numb or to put yourself on autopilot. The nightmares, flashbacks, or intrusive thoughts make your days and nights almost unbearable to get through. You may feel uncontrollably angry or irritable and engage in dangerous or reckless behavior, and it’s especially frustrating that you can’t fully remember what actually happened.
We most often relate PTSD with veterans and soldiers who have combat experience, however, PTSD can be experienced by anyone who has been exposed to major stressful events, such as natural disasters, terrorist acts, acts of war, car accidents, or violent criminal acts or personal attacks.
People of all races, nationalities, gender, class, and cultures can be affected by PTSD. Research suggests that four percent of the US population suffers from PTSD and that women are affected twice as often as men.
A lot has happened to you in life, and people seem to be in awe of all you’ve experienced when you share your story. Yet you feel as though you’ve lived a dream...like your life happened to someone that looked like you and you just watched it unfold; it just doesn’t feel real.
You feel responsible for everyone and everything and find yourself apologizing for things completely outside of your control. Perhaps you’re experiencing uncharacteristic anger—at family, friends, animals, or strangers. You might be a self-help guru, but it doesn’t ever seem that you feel worthy of the life you’re currently living. You just never feel like what you do is enough.
Sometimes you look in the mirror, and you truly have no idea who’s staring back at you. You grasp at joy or even a sense of actually living by engaging in risky behaviors, but you end up just feeling empty. People around you have expressed concern that you just don’t seem like yourself or you’re no longer performing at the level you once did.
Perhaps the worst part of it all is that you feel trapped by the life you’re living, and it seems as if there’s no way out.
OCCURRENCE OF COMPLEX TRAUMA (C-PTSD)
Complex trauma occurs with exposure to many traumas over time and encompasses the impacts of that exposure as well. Complex trauma often results from events in childhood within the family-of-origin.
However, it can occur in adulthood, such as in domestic violence situations or with partners of chemical and behavioral addicts. Additional possible C-PTSD-invoking situations in adulthood include community violence, periods of civil unrest, war trauma, genocide, refugee or asylum seeking, cultural dislocation, sexual exploitation or trafficking, and medical trauma.
If you or someone you know could benefit from complex trauma work, please reach out to schedule your 15-minute free phone consultation today. We are here for you!