PTSD and Complex Trauma
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can result from a single event or multiple events that include the direct experience of an inescapable threat to the self or another. You can suffer from PTSD even when you are prepared to experience or witness such threats, as is the case with trained services personnel and first responders such as the fire, ambulance and police service personnel.
One of the features of PTSD is when one continues to seemingly randomly experience intrusive symptoms such as unwanted negative physical and sensory symptoms and negative or alarming cognitions (thoughts) and emotions. Such unwanted negative symptoms are commonly triggered by sights, sounds, smells, sensations, thoughts and emotions that relate in some way to the past trauma, even when we are not aware of any obvious connection. The past trauma is happening in the present and the negative symptoms often feel as though they cannot be controlled.
The often-followed path is to attempt to avoid certain people, places, feelings or thoughts and to develop distracting or numbing coping mechanisms. These can work for a time before life starts to become small and restricted. Your physical and mental health, relationships, family and work suffer.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that PTSD can be treated very effectively with exposure-based therapy or Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR). I am trained in both modalities. I am happy to explain the differences between the two therapeutic methods so you can make an informed choice as to how you wish to proceed.
Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse and Complex Trauma
We can be living our lives well into our 30’s, 40’s or even later when the anxiety, bouts of depression, pervasive fear, intrusive nightmares, multiple relationship breakdowns or other compulsive or self-destructive patterns get out of control and we can no longer cope. Sometimes triggered by a relationship breakdown, the loss of a job, a business failure or other crisis, odd memories come flooding back in fractured and uncontrollable ways. All sort’s of difficult emotional states and thoughts can arise. This is extremely distressing, frightening and it can also be very isolating. You may have been diagnosed previously with oppositional defiance disorder or attention deficit disorder when younger or anxiety and depression or with borderline personality disorder in the past.
You are not going mad and you are not alone. I have worked with hundreds of adults who have been exposed to violence or who have experienced chronic neglect and or mental, emotional, physical and or sexual abuse as children and adults. There are ways to heal that do not involve exposure to the trauma or being forced to relive it. You can effectively be helped to understand what is happening to you and how to develop skills to manage disorganised states gradually working towards healing and reclaiming your life. You are in control of your healing journey and I have many years’ experience in working in this area safely and respectfully.