Simple/Single Trauma

When we feel an extreme threat to our self, or a loved one, our brain can be overwhelmed and struggle to deal with what happened. We can spend days or weeks mentally re-living the event, or find it too distressing to think about. Usually, given time, we are able to process what happened and come to terms with it, but sometimes we get stuck with the raw, distressing memory, or we try to avoid any reminders and this begins to interfere with our life. This is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Simple, single traumas are often resolved in therapy in 6 to 12 sessions, sometimes less.

Complex/Multiple Trauma

Multiple traumas or long term abuse can result in complex PTSD. This is more likely if the people responsible for the trauma are the people responsible for care. For example, when a parent hurts their child. Complex trauma affects brain development in every area and has far reaching consequences in every aspect of life. It damages sense of self, the quality of relationships and long-term mental health. EMDR can be used to resolve complex trauma but requires a good period of preparation and fairly long-term treatment. It is extremely important not to move on to trauma work until a client is feels safe, secure and ready to do the work.

PTSD

Multiple traumas or long term abuse can result in complex PTSD. This is more likely if the people responsible for the trauma are the people responsible for care. For example, when a parent hurts their child. Complex trauma affects brain development in every area and has far reaching consequences in every aspect of life. It damages sense of self, the quality of relationships and long-term mental health. EMDR can be used to resolve complex trauma but requires a good period of preparation and fairly long-term treatment. It is extremely important not to move on to trauma work until a client is feels safe, secure and ready to do the work.

Some Causes Of Trauma

  • Accidents
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Witness to violence
  • Natural disaster
  • War and terror
  • Medical procedures
  • Child abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Bullying
  • Emotional abuse
  • Serious diagnosis
  • Early neglect
  • Humiliation
  • Separations
  • Victim of crime
  • Victim of violence

Symptoms of Trauma

  • Flashbacks
  • Re-living event
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Feeling switched off
  • Avoidance
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Palpitations
  • Panic Attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Guilt
  • Numbness

Childrens Symptoms

  • Repetitive play
  • Withdrawal
  • Hyperactivity
  • Easily startled
  • Clingy
  • Nightmares
  • Regression
  • Wetting
  • Soiling
  • Difficulty separating
  • Controlling behaviour
  • Headache
  • Stomach ache
  • Acts more childishly

LINKS

MIND on PTSD
Child Trauma
International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation
20 Signs of Unresolved Trauma
Complex Trauma