Complex Trauma is psychological damage (which may sometimes include physical damage) inflicted on a person repeatedly over time. It tends to be most severe when it is inflicted during childhood and teen years. This form of chronic trauma may include direct or indirect threats to the person’s wellbeing, life, safety, psychological sanity or bodily integrity and security.
Because Complex Trauma is brought about by chronic mistreatment by others, often someone close, sufferers have usually experienced some form of humiliation and loss of trust, making their decision to come to counselling difficult and tentative. Examples of this form of trauma are child abuse, sexual abuse, physical violence, verbal abuse, neglect or deprivation.
Complex trauma is a reaction of brain, body, and emotions to traumatic experiences – whereby the brain’s usual processing mechanisms simply cannot process the implications of some experience, resulting in a mental/emotional “log-jam” (trauma).
These experiences can overwhelm the person’s sense of being able to cope with many aspects of everyday life.
How can Counselling help Complex Trauma?
Safety comes first. Before anything else, the psychologist must establish a relationship with the sufferer where the person feels safe to start telling aspects of their story, sometimes saving harder parts to tell until later sessions, once safety has been established.
The trauma survivor needs to know they will be given respect and have a voice in how, what, and when certain aspects of their experience is covered.
Some traumatic memories may be too painful to return to, for a very long time, perhaps never. In the meantime, much ground can be made by establishing trust, and a sense of being able to bring order and meaning back into one’s world – to begin to feel empowered as a person to make things happen in one’s own world.
Call us on 1300 739 531 to make an appointment
- Phones answered Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 8pm, Saturdays 9-4pm
- After-hours appointments available weeknights to 8pm, Saturdays 9am to 4pm.
- Medicare and Private Health rebates can be processed at your session.
- For details on our psychologists, see Our Team
If traumatic experiences are robbing you of motivation, joy and interest, let us help. Open Sky Psychology serves people in the local areas of Ryde, Gladesville, Putney, Lane Cove, Meadowbank, Hunters Hill, Top Ryde, East Ryde, West Ryde, North Ryde, Denistone, Drummoyne, Eastwood, Epping, Chatswood, and surrounding suburbs.
Victoria Road buses also make our practice accessible for city workers, see Contact Us. But if Our Team’s areas of specialisation make a good match for your particular needs, we welcome people from anywhere.