All too often the word used to describe people struggling with PTSD and complex PTSD (C-PTSD) is that they are “stuck.” Despite wanting to feel better, they find it tough to get good complex PTSD help. Often this is because they are locked into a mindset that ultimately is not their fault. Rather, their brain has been hijacked due to years—and sometimes even decades—of trauma and abuse.
They may be able to get through a week or two without experiencing any symptoms. However, a triggering moment suddenly brings them back to when they experienced their trauma. And all the worries, fears, and emotions rise to the surface.
If this sounds like you, don’t despair! It is possible to get help for dealing with complex PTSD.
Consider how some of the most effective treatment options can work for you.
First, it helps to understand what C-PTSD is before diving into the different treatment options. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder occurs because an individual has experienced extensive and repetitive trauma during their lifetime. This form of PTSD is often seen in adults who went through years of abuse as children.
Even just one traumatic incident can cause PTSD. But imagine if you must endure trauma day after day consistently. Those experiences layer one on top of the other. They become intertwined and linked together. This is where the “complex” part comes in. Add in unhealthy coping methods in adulthood, such as alcohol and drug use, and you can begin to see how truly complex and intricate this ailment is.
Neurofeedback to Help with Complex PTSD
One effective way to treat C-PTSD is neurofeedback therapy. It’s an incredibly powerful process that taps into the potential of your brain. This is important as, ultimately, it is your brain that is causing you to experience C-PTSD symptoms.
During neurofeedback, a therapist connects leads from your head to an electroencephalogram (EEG) display. This allows you and your therapist to see a readout of your brainwaves as they are actually occurring in real-time. With this information, the therapist can help you teach your brain how to better cope with complex PTSD symptoms.
While you’re learning, you can see your brain respond to this training as it occurs. This, in turn, reinforces the learning. It’s amazing to watch and an incredible process to experience.
Getting a Boost from qEEG Brain Mapping
The next level in neurofeedback is qEEG (quantitative electroencephalography) brain mapping. This tool for treating C-PTSD can delve deep down into the sub-surface areas of your brain and provide detailed information about your brain functions. This is then compared with a database that contains baseline information from a host of other brain-mapping procedures.
The result is pinpoint feedback about which areas of your brain are not functioning optimally and are perhaps causing your complex PTSD symptoms. Equipped with this information, your therapist can devise a treatment plan to address your unique problem areas.
EMDR Therapy for Complex PTSD
Finally, eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) can also provide valuable help for dealing with complex PTSD. EMDR holds the power to allow your brain to finally process and resolve traumatic memories from your past.
This is done in two steps: 1) Through prompts from your therapist, you are guided to recall specific memories. 2) While recalling these memories, you follow an object (finger, pen, etc.) back and forth within your field of view.
This powerful process can help you with resolving trauma and C-PTSD symptoms. Of course, you don’t go into EMDR “cold.” Your therapist will help you prepare by learning healthy coping methods in case the memories you recall get too distressing. This is to help you stay in control.
To get help with complex PTSD, you need more than just simply talk therapy. A qualified C-PTSD therapist will help you to create and follow a C-PTSD trigger coping plan. Effective treatment requires tools that will target and resolve your complex trauma. These methods allow you to get unstuck and—for perhaps the first time in many years—see an actual path forward.
If you want to finally have the closure you’ve been looking for, please contact me for more information about the techniques I use for PTSD therapy.