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Therapy for Trauma

Today, Trauma is a major buzzword and included a wide variety of symptoms and experiences, but what exactly is developmental and complex trauma?

In a nutshell, there are two major types of trauma. 

Type 1 trauma is usually a single incident that occurs when an individual believes their life is in danger. For example, being held at gunpoint or being home during a housefire. 

Type 2 trauma or Developmental and Complex Trauma is trauma that occurs over a long period of time, usually either in a person's childhood home or during a long-term relationship with a significant other. 

What makes type 2 trauma particularly difficult is that the victim usually doesn't have a full comprehension of the damage/long-term effects that the trauma has caused.

This is primarily due to what we call fragmented/traumatic memory. 

When the body senses it is in danger, it goes into fight/flight mode. 

When the body is in fight/flight mode, the part of the brain responsible for memory is shut off to provide maximum capacity for the fight/flight receptor to function effectively. 

The problem with this brain mechanism is what happens afterward. 

The victim is usually fully unaware of what has occurred and thus still struggles with feelings of numbness and being easily triggered.

Trauma-Focused CBT and Cognitive Processing therapy help the individual create a narrative for their trauma, which will help the individual better understand and have better control over previous traumatic experiences

Once a narrative is established, DBT informed and mindfulness strategies can be utilized to help calm symptoms when triggers are reactivated. 

If these symptoms sound familiar to you and you'd like to learn more, click below to schedule an appointment or free 15-minute consultation!