mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary

Complex Trauma

Complex trauma is the exposure to multiple, often interrelated, traumatic events. When exposed to these traumas, the brain uses replay and simulation to create adaptive strategies to survive these overwhelming experiences and ensure that it never happens again. These strategies continue long after the traumatic events have ended as our brain cannot tell the difference between then and now.

People often have heard of the “onion” analogy, and we find that to be very true, that there are often “layers” and defenses that have been created over a lifetime to protect that individual. People tend to experience different types of trauma from more severe and apparent moments to more covert and chronic moments.

How to Treat Complex Trauma

Research shows that using EMDR and the Progressive Approach is a very effective way of treating complex trauma by helping someone rewire their neural pathways and rewrite their story.

At Claibourne Counseling, we specialize in treating Trauma & PTSD!