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  • Trauma & Complex Trauma

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    Complex trauma requires a different therapeutic approach and treatment than working with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD is diagnosed when a person is exposed to trauma showing symptoms that occur over a prolong period of time and produce distress and impairment to their life such as intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviours, emotional numbness, negative thoughts and feelings, and hyperarousal or reactive symptoms (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2017). Trauma is exposure to a threat or perceived threat to a person’s survival such as witnessing or experiencing a distressing event “such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault” (APA, 2017).

    Complex trauma is distinctive because the exposure to multiple severe and pervasive traumatic exposure to abuse or neglect over a long period of time has significant negative consequences on the individual and these negative consequences are more detrimental when complex trauma occurs very early in the child’s development.