Complex Trauma

Complex trauma is identified by Judith Herman and other leaders in the area of Traumatology as “the existence of a complex form of PTSD in survivors of prolonged, repeated trauma.” (Herman 1992).

An example of a history of complex trauma might involve that of a female who was adopted at a young age, experienced sexual and/or physical abuse in care, experienced ongoing sexual abuse by a stepfather and then found herself in a series of abusive relationships throughout her teens and early adult life. Here there is a history of extensive interpersonal traumas at various ages and developmental stages covering a range of categories.

When treating people with complex trauma, it is unrealistic to think there will be rapid results in just a few sessions. Here, a conscious and methodical phased approach in EMDR treatment is necessary which may also require a lot of preparation and stabilisation.

I am cautious and careful when working with complex trauma and will be constantly checking in with you to ensure that you are not being overwhelmed or engulfed in therapy.

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