Jane Chugg-White CBT

Complex Trauma/PTSD

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not have a specific set of diagnostic criteria for Complex PTSD. However complex PTSD is generally recognised by those therapists working with survivors of trauma and in particular those who have worked with clients who have survived prolonged repeated abuse over many years, or been repeatedly abused in childhood. Judith Herman in her book Trauma and Recovery identifies complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and says that in Complex PTSD the 'symptom picture for those who have survived prolonged and repeated abuse is often far more complex than those who have suffered a single traumatic event'. There are often significant character and personality changes and these survivors often have problems with identity and attachment/relationships. These issues can create many problems in day to day living over many years. They often go un recognised and un treated. Judith Herman gives a comprehensive list of symptoms of Complex PTSD within her book Trauma and Recovery. Dissociation can also be and is often a feature of complex trauma

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