What is Complex PTSD?

Complex trauma refers to a child’s continued exposure to traumatic events, which are often interpersonal and intrusive. This could be physical abuse, neglect, or attachment issues with the primary caregiver.

When a child is abused or neglected, attachment issues occur. It is challenging for the child to develop internal resources to self-regulate because they are not being demonstrated in their environment. The internal and external worlds are unsafe places.

  • The impacts of Complex PTSD are:
  • Issues with self-regulation
  • Feelings of shame, worthlessness and guilt
  • Difficulties in intimate relationships

Complex trauma is pervasive and needs to be addressed separately from single incident trauma. The deep healing that is required can then be passed on through the family.