PTSD can occur when someone experiences a single traumatic event. But what happens when a person is exposed to a traumatic environment over a long period of time?
Healing from PTSD is challenging enough, but a person with a history of trauma who is re-traumatized is often likely to develop what’s called complex PTSD.
Patricia Resick, PhD and her colleagues studied the potential for healing in women with an extensive history of trauma who were diagnosed with complex PTSD as a result of rape.
She randomly assigned them into cognitive-processing therapy, prolonged exposure, or a wait-list control.
Results showed that even when someone has endured prolonged trauma, there is still time to heal.
Measures taken at the end of the intervention and 9 months later showed improvement in depression and PTSD symptoms compared to the control group.
I love when science shows it’s never too late to heal.
But complex PTSD comes with its own set of issues.
Judith Herman, MD is the psychiatrist responsible for coining the term “complex post-traumatic stress disorder” and I’m pleased to let you know that we’ve been able to arrange a special bonus webinar with Dr. Herman as we finish up the 2012 Trauma Webinar Series.
We made a short, 1 minute video highlighting the webinar − take a look below.
If you have not yet signed up for a Gold Membership, there’s still time.
Here’s the link to check out our latest series on the treatment of trauma.
What has been your experience treating patients with complex PTSD? Please leave a comment below.