What is Complex Trauma?
Complex trauma, also known as chronic trauma, happens when an individual experiences multiple traumatic instances. This form of trauma can be a longstanding event such as reoccurring physical or sexual abuse, neglect or combat experience. Complex trauma can also result from a buildup of multiple traumatic experiences throughout one’s life. An individual may have experienced a natural disaster, assault and a serious accident at different times in their life. The consequences of complex trauma are usually more severe, because one traumatic experience brings back old feelings and issues associated with another. Victims of complex trauma often live destructive, reckless and uncontrollable lives.
How Is Complex Trauma Treated?
Complex trauma is treated by:
1) Self-Regulation: Working on one’s ability to be aware of and modulate their own level of arousal or anxiety. This helps restore balance through the body’s major systems like emotion, behaviour, and physiology.
2) Self-Reflective Information Processing: Learning to use attentional processes effectively, thus steering away from negative thoughts and emotions associated with the trauma