More Information About Complex Trauma

Healing from complex trauma is not a linear process, and not as a 1, 2, and 3 steps like a simple to do project. It requires the use of many therapeutic techniques to address the multiple symptoms and dissociative conditions.


Zina Ortiz

11/6/20232 min read

EMDR for Trauma Anxiety PTSD Depression Denver Colorado
EMDR for Trauma Anxiety PTSD Depression Denver Colorado

The aftermath of severe abuse or experiencing traumatic events is often referred to as complex trauma. Within the field of health treating trauma presents its own unique set of challenges.

What is Complex Trauma? Complex trauma differs from single incident traumas, like car accidents or natural disasters. It typically arises from enduring exposure to events that often occur during childhood, where the victim feels helpless to escape. Common sources of trauma include childhood abuse, neglect or ongoing interpersonal violence.

The impacts of complex trauma are far reaching. The effects of trauma extend to every aspect of a survivor's life. These experiences can manifest in symptoms, such as;

Emotional dysregulation, survivors may struggle with managing emotions. Frequently experience mood swings or intense emotional reactions that are often difficult to overcome or manage.

Dissociation, a natural coping mechanism that can create a sense of detachment from ones body or surroundings.

Recurring nightmares and flashbacks are common as well as traumatic memories that intrude upon life leading to lack of sleep.

Self harm and suicidal ideation, some survivors turn to self harming behaviors. Experience thoughts of suicide, as a means to cope with their pain.

Challenges, in relationships, dealing with trauma can have an impact on a person's ability to trust and connect with others and establish healthy relationships.

Long term health issues, individuals who have experienced trauma may also face health problems that are linked to their distress. Trauma symptoms cause autoimmune issues.

The complexity of the healing process in addressing trauma requires an intricate approach to healing. Unlike events, which focus on processing specific incidents complex trauma necessitates unraveling interconnected experiences and their enduring effects.

Essential aspects of complex trauma treatment requires establishing safety and stability; The initial step involves creating a stable environment for survivors. This encompasses ensuring safety as well as emotional well being.

Assisting survivors in understanding and managing their emotions is crucial. Techniques such as behavior therapy (DBT) can be immensely helpful in this regard. Other techniques for emotional regulation and coping as also valuable. Coping techniques do not address the trauma, these are tools to help people cope in between sessions.

Encouraging survivors to share their narratives can be empowering. It assists them in making sense of their experiences and reclaiming control over their stories. Using timelines are also a great way to see the story on paper, to create some distance from those adverse events.

Building and restoring trust, which is often shattered by events is essential. Therapeutic relationships play a role in this process.

Integrating holistic practices, like meditation, mindfulness and body centered therapies can aid survivors in reconnecting with their bodies and reducing symptoms of dissociation.

There are situations where medication might be necessary to manage symptoms, like anxiety, depression or sleep disturbances.

Therapies Involving Psychedelics are also hugely useful in addressing symptoms. They provide an opportunity for reflection and healing. We offer psychedelic assisted therapies using cannabis and ketamine to address trauma symptoms.

Recovering from trauma is not a process. It is hugely valuable to have consistent support while in treatment. Both the survivor and their support network must embrace patience and compassion as they navigate through this journey. This process may span years. It is crucial to acknowledge any progress made no matter how small.

Treating trauma is a big endeavor; however its certainly not insurmountable. With the support system, in place the survivors resilience can shine through. Although the healing journey may be lengthy the destination is well worth the effort – a life liberated from the haunting shadows of the past where hope and resilience flourish.

At Elephant In The Room LLC, we specialize in the treatment of complex trauma using multimodal approaches. Come see us!