Complex Trauma is “a type of trauma that occurs repeatedly and cumulatively, usually over a period of time and within specific relationships and contexts.” – http://drchriscourtois.com/
While most psychotherapists have a basic understanding of treating trauma, the populations I serve (abuse/assault survivors, military veterans, etc.) present with experiences that demand a higher level of care and deeper knowledge of how complex trauma impacts us. To better serve my clients, I am trained and recognized as a Certified Complex Trauma Professional (CCTP-II).
This certification, awarded by the International Association of Trauma Professionals, reflects my skills and training at assessing and treating clients struggling with Complex Trauma (aka Complex PTSD). This deep understanding of the mechanisms and effects of complex trauma is what drives my work with clients. Creating safety, providing education and reassurance, building trust and celebrating progress are all part of this work. This understanding alone can bring great relief to someone struggling with the effects of complex trauma. I recall one abuse survivor saying, “This is the first time in years that I don’t feel like I’m crazy” after learning that the symptoms he was enduring are typical for complex trauma survivors. Educating clients about how trauma challenges the body and mind helps them realize that the problem isn’t them, it’s what they’ve been through.
Of course, this education is only the first step. Once the client understands why they’re feeling and experiencing these things, the work shifts to changing the behaviors, experiences and emotional reactions. Complex trauma treatment is neither quick nor easy, but the reward is healthier and happier lives and relationships.