Trauma comes in many different forms, but can be broadly broken down into those suffering Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and those with Complex-PTSD (C-PTSD)
It can be associated with a relatively, discrete one=off event, such as being in a car crash or having been assaulted.
Clients with PTSD have generally been traumatised by a discrete one=off event, such as being in a car crash or having been assaulted. Their symptoms include:
- intrusive thoughts – re-living the event
- increased autonomic arousal – elevated heart rate, breathing issues
- panic attacks
- sleeplessness and appetite disturbance
- feeling like no-one understands
Clients with C-PTSD have generally been traumatised over a prolonged period of time, often in childhood. They have suffered neglect, ongoing emotional insecurity and were often insecurely attached to a main caregiver. Their symptoms are often more relational in nature:
- difficulties in making strong relational bonds (often seeking them out, but then avoiding deepening intimacy)
- increased autonomic arousal – whilst their body is constantly on high alert, they are often unaware of this
- generalized anxiety – they never feel safe
- dissociated or fragmented sense of self
- chronic mood disturbance
Whilst much technique I use overlaps in the two groups, workking with C-PTSD understandably entails a more long-term therapeutic alliance.