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Trauma Healing Center

Treating Complex PTSD

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (often abbreviated to CPTSD or c-PTSD) is a condition in which one experiences symptoms of PTSD along with additional feelings like the following:

  • Regular thoughts of suicide
  • Difficulty controlling emotions
  • Feeling that you are worthless or forever damaged
  • Regular feelings of distrust and anger
  • Avoiding relationships and friendships
  • The need for isolation
  • The feeling that nobody can relate to you
  • Dissociative feelings such as derealisation or depersonalisation
  • Ongoing physical symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, nausea and chest pain
Word PTSD spelled on wooden dice

Complex PTSD is a relatively new term. All mental health professionals that treat complex PTSD have recognized that various types of trauma go in tandem with the effects of PTSD. However, many of them disagree as to whether this is a type of PTSD or an isolated condition that is all together separate. Though there is no universally accepted name for it, complex PTSD is the most widely adapted and recognized one.

Types of Trauma that Cause Complex PTSD

Any traumatic event can cause complex PTSD, but the most common include the following:

  • Childhood abuse (neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse)
  • Ongoing witnessing to acts of violence or abuse
  • Repeated domestic violence
  • Forced into something against one’s will suck as prostitution or slavery
  • Victimized by torture, kidnapping, or rape
  • Being a prisoner of war
  • Having an invasive medical procedure or experiencing severe medical complications
  • Learning that a loved one has gone through a violent or traumatizing experience
  • Surviving a traumatic accident like a car crash, collapsing building, near drowning, or a fire

Complex PTSD is more likely if these traumatic events occurred during childhood. In addition, the symptoms of complex PTSD will likely be more severe if the trauma lasted for a long time, there was little hope of being rescued, if there were multiple types of trauma, and if the person who inflicted the trauma was close to you.

How is Complex PTSD Treated?

Treatment for complex PTSD will be determined by your therapist at Serenity Trauma, as each patient is a unique individual with their own sets of experiences. But some of the most popular treatment methods used for treating complex PTSD include the following:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Brainspotting
  • Somatic experiencing
  • Sensorimotor psychotherapy
  • The CHRIS technique
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Group therapy
  • Neurofeedback therapy

When you seek treatment from a Serenity Trauma therapist, we will create an individualized recovery plan that could include one of the above methods, or a combination of several. When you have your first consultation with one of our skilled therapists, we will be able to understand your needs and piece together the right approach.

Living with Complex PTSD

Torn pieces of paper with abbreviate PTSD. Posttraumatic stress disorder.

Complex PTSD is a serious mental health condition that absolutely must be treated. Treating complex PTSD often takes a great deal of time to treat, and for many people it is a lifelong condition. In some cases patients will undergo one or several of the above treatment types, and they might also be prescribed medication like Zoloft, Paxil or Prozac by a psychiatrist. But medication alone won’t work at a depe level; therapy is essential to recovery. That said, some people may receive treatment through a combination of therapy and medication.

We understand that starting treatment can be overwhelming for some patients. That said, it may be advantageous to join a support group, whether online or in person. When we share similar experiences with others it often becomes the first step to recovery, so if you are able to join a support group even before you have your first treatment session with one of our therapists, you will likely be making a great first move towards a healthy and happy you.

Call Serenity Trauma for Complex PTSD Treatment Today

Whether you have been previously diagnosed with complex PTSD, or you have many of its common symptoms, take charge of your life and call Serenity Trauma today. We will need to evaluate you and get a firm understanding of your symptoms before we can create an individualized program for you.. But together, we can help you overcome those barriers to living the best version of yourself.

Contact Us Today

Serenity Trauma Healing Center is state- and JCAHO-accredited to provide a multitude of proven psychotherapy services to clients with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our programs include weekly evaluations and start at two weeks long but can continue for timeframes recommended by our licensed experts. We accept many insurance plans. To discuss your situation and learn more about our treatment options, contact us immediately online or at the numbers below.