C-PTSD stands for Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Unlike PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) C-PTSD means that the person has experienced multiple episodes of trauma. For example, let’s say that they were the victim of abuse. They suffered numerous instances of being abused. Each incident is different, but they all are repeated experiences of the same topic. It’s challenging to recover from C-PTSD because the trauma builds on itself.
Trauma hurts us deeply
It can be difficult to understand C-PTSD if you haven’t been through it. It helps to hear it from somebody who suffered through the condition. A C-PTSD survivor says, “Although it is not realistic to compare traumas because all illnesses are valid. As someone with C-PTSD, it often feels overwhelming to have a multitude of traumatic events to have to work within therapy.” each event that you have experienced as a survivor has a different meaning. One thing that can help is discussing your trauma and therapy. Different kinds of therapy can help PTSD. Two common types of treatment are EMDR and trauma-informed therapy.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) Is a type of mental health treatment that focuses on processing memories associated with trauma. It is an excellent form of treatment for C-PTSD. The individual will watch their therapist’s fingers move back-and-forth while thinking about a traumatic memory. EMDR can be extremely intense for an individual. The client thinks about negative core beliefs they associate with the trauma. Then the therapist asks them to think about a positive feeling about themselves that they can substitute when imagining the trauma. The goal of EMDR is to process these traumatic events and reframe them in the client’s mind so that they are not upsetting any longer. Though EMDR can be extremely powerful, it can also be draining for the client. At the end of the EMDR sessions, the goal is for the client to feel less traumatized and more empowered.
In trauma-informed therapy, an individual talks about the traumatic events they’ve experienced. The therapist helps them process the trauma. A trauma-informed therapist understands how traumatic events can impact a client and helps them work through these experiences. In trauma-informed therapy (unlike other types of treatment) is focused on distressing memories. The client isn’t talking about daily life challenges but zeroing in on the traumatic memories that they’ve gone through in their lives. It’s challenging to work through these memories, and it may take months or even years to understand the impact of the trauma. It’s essential to work with a therapist who understands trauma and its effects on your mind and body. A regular clinician may not have the experience with understanding how people heal from traumatic events. With a trauma-informed therapist, you don’t have to worry about your therapist’s qualifications because they have helped people heal from their past wounds.
Online therapy and C-PTSD
Online therapy is an excellent place to work through trauma. Some therapists are extremely experienced in helping clients process traumatic events. One of the advantages of online therapy is that it has an intimate setting where you can talk about sensitive topics. When you have been through C-PTSD, you might not want to talk about your trauma with a therapist in person. You’re sitting in an anonymous office, and it’s hard to feel comfortable expressing your traumatic experiences. It’s an environment that is outside of your home. But with online therapy, you can discuss traumatic events in the comfort of your own home or anywhere you feel safe. It is confidential, and the client gets to control where and where they receive treatment. Online therapy can help trauma survivors with C-PTSD feel safe enough to talk about their pain, and begin to heal.