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The Full Story

Complex PTSD

Treatment for Complex PTSD | C-PTSD Therapy | Online | London

Trauma and symptoms of trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) follow a significant event or traumatic experience such as: witnessing or being involved in some kind of threat or attack, violence, physical or emotional abuse, narcissistic abuse, childhood neglect, bullying, war, conflicts, accidents or injuries. Symptoms of trauma can also arise from any kind of negative experience, like feeling embarrassed, ashamed, frightened, rejected, betrayed or neglected. Essentially trauma is a result of an experience that threatens our personal sense of safety, security or survival. It is described as a normal reaction to abnormal or unusual events or experiences.


Symptoms of trauma & PTSD include:


  • reliving of the original experience

  • intrusive thoughts, images or memories

  • feelings of shock, denial or disbelief

  • anxiety & fear

  • irritability & anger

  • feelings of guilt or shame

  • low self-esteem

  • withdrawing from family and friends

  • feelings of disconnection

  • depression

  • difficulty sleeping 

  • nightmares or flashbacks

  • difficulty relaxing

  • fatigue

  • feeling on edge and jumpy

  • agitation

  • tensions, aches and pain

  • feeling under threat or in danger


These symptoms can appear within days, weeks, months or even years following specific events and can last until help is sought.

Complex PTSD or C-PTSD occurs as a result or relational or developmental trauma. It is a result of experiencing longer-term trauma, or enduring stress, abuse, neglect, rejection, bullying or betrayal from an early age or over a long period of time. 


With Complex-PTSD you can experience symptoms of trauma as outlined above, together with:


•   Difficulty controlling your emotions

•   Having significant struggles with trust or feeling unsafe

•   Dread. Feeling like something awful is about to happen.

•   Feeling helpless, hopeless, numb or empty

•   Feeling like you are permanently damaged, unfixable or can’t be helped

•   Believing you are unworthy, undeserving, too much, not good enough or that anything you do will not be enough

•   Feeling disconnected and alone in the world

•   Experiencing significant difficulties in forming or maintaining relationships

•   Dissociative symptoms like depersonalisation or derealisation

•   Having thoughts of suicide

•   Extreme health anxieties

•   Regular and ongoing physical symptoms like chronic pain, nausea, chronic fatigues, headaches and unexplained aches etc.


Many people living with untreated Complex trauma and PTSD find they struggle with relationships or work or develop some maladaptive ways of coping in an attempt to try to manage and minimise symptoms like avoidance or using or abusing alcohol, drugs, addictions, gambling, shopping, use of sex or love interests, work addiction, over-exercise, controlling behaviours like restrictive eating, obsessive-compulsive disorder or other obsessive or compulsive patterns.

Therapy can help with addressing and managing the symptoms of Complex-PTSD as well as processing the relational trauma, shame or traumatic events that have contributed to this. 

Dr. Sarah Davies is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist & Trauma Therapist trained in the use of Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) and body-based approaches including sensorimotor psychotherapy and trauma-sensitive yoga.


EMDR is a psychological therapy technique used to treat trauma and Complex-PTSD as well as a range of other related issues such as grief, phobias and addictions. 

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