This series in August has centered around how difficult it is to find a qualified therapist to treat CPTSD. We have discussed some suggestions as to why it is so difficult and listed websites where you can go online to find help, hopefully.
We at CPTSD Foundation know how steep the road to healing from complex post-traumatic stress disorder is. That is why we wanted to leave August with some words of hope.
What Have You Learned?
No one should ever look at their complex trauma and be grateful for it, and no one has the right to tell you to do so. Stating that it would be like asking someone to be thankful because they had cancer or some other horrific disease. The statement is insensitive and wrong.
However, many therapists will ask you what did you learn from your experiences? Did you learn resilience? Did you learn compassion? Did you learn how strong you indeed are? What did you learn?
By asking these profound questions that no one else can answer, you process trauma and can focus on healing.
By therapists asking someone to reflect on what they have learned from their traumatic past, they are helping you to heal. Therapists do this by bringing you into the present to look back at history. The trauma belongs in the past, but it can only recede and stay there if we acknowledge it. By asking a series of appropriate questions, therapists help you to heal.
Reclaiming Hope After Complex Trauma
Hope after complex trauma is vital to healing. Hope involves taking time to reflect on how much you have grown, especially since first working on trauma-related behaviors. Hope is necessary to finding a therapist who is right for you because you must not give up the search.
Hope involves making meaning out of your suffering, and this requires taking responsibility for your life in the now. This act must include your thoughts, as well as your actions.
If you find you are constantly living in stinking thinking (negative thinking about yourself and your life), challenge yourself to change these pessimistic thoughts. Focus instead on what you have accomplished. Just going to therapy and working on trauma-related issues is a huge accomplishment. Do not sell yourself short.
At first, forward movement may be slow, but as you build your confidence and tolerance with yourself, you will find yourself having increased joy in life. There are four components to healing from complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and we shall explore them together.
- Becoming Aware. Awareness of not only where you have been in the past but also where you are in the now is critical. One needs to remain in the present and allow the awareness of what happened so long ago to come to you naturally. Do not force it and always allow yourself to acknowledge that the past is gone, and you are safe now.
- Knowing when to fight and when not to is critical to healing. Not all battles with your past need fought, and at certain times, such as when you are depressed, is it possible. Allow yourself the pleasure of choosing your battles.
- Allow yourself to think about and feel your emotions. While this sounds terrifying to many, by denying them, emotions may rule your life. When you pull out an emotion or one surfaces on its own, please do not push it away. Allow the tears to come because they will eventually stop.
- Having Faith. Have trust that your life is moving in the correct direction and will continue to do so. Acknowledge how hard you have fought and the battles you have won. Allow yourself to feel joy, freedom, and happiness. Doing so is not being a traitor to your past; it is embracing it and winning over it.
Using a Strengths-Based Approach to Heal
Living in a dysfunctional family, especially one that causes complex post-traumatic stress disorder, leaves one focused on pain and problems. To heal, it is best to begin focusing on your strengths and abilities and positive qualities instead.
Sit down with some paper or a journal and write down the answer to the following questions written by Dr. Arielle Schwartz and quoted from her website.
- “What positive qualities best describe you? For example, you might explore how you are caring, a good friend to others, have a good sense of humor, behave fairly, or enjoy spending time learning new things.
- Take a moment to reflect upon your growth. What are the positive changes that you have created in your life as a result of your commitment to healing? Maybe, you have realized your capacity to be brave, determined, or mentally tough.
- What hopes or visions do you have for your future? What new qualities would you like to expand and grow? What goals would you like to set for yourself? What do you need to support you to be successful?
- What actions can you take to make a difference in the outcome of your life now? What helps you to feel empowered to shape your future in a positive direction?”
All of these questions focus on where you are now and the good qualities you have instead of the negative parts of your life.
Other Helpful Websites
CPTSD Foundation’s website is always available to you for assistance. However, many other sites cover recovery from CPTSD as well. These sites offer insights, hope, and some have find a therapist pages.
Out of the Storm
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Healing from Complex PTSD
Trauma Recovery Support
PTSD United States Veterans Administration/Government Website
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
The Hanna Institute
The Blue Knot Foundation
Beauty After Bruises
Dr. Arielle Schwartz
If you are looking for more information, free worksheets, and handouts the following site is worth checking out on WordPress. i is a site owned by Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC, LSATP.
All these sites cover complex trauma and complex post-traumatic stress disorder well and offer great information.
We hope this series on finding an appropriate therapist to treat complex post-traumatic stress disorder has helped. It was our sincere hope to cover enough material and offer enough assistance to aid you in finding a therapist that is a good fit for you.
Don’t forget, CPTSD Foundation stands in the gap between ignorance and knowledge about complex post-traumatic stress disorder and that we believe in you.
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” Shel Silverstein
“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.” Chad Sugg
If you a survivor or someone who loves a survivor and cannot find a therapist who treats complex post-traumatic stress disorder, please, contact CPTSD Foundation through our contact us page.
We have a staff of volunteers who have been compiling a list of providers who treat CPTSD. They would be happy to give you more ideas for where to look for and find a therapist that will help you.
Are you a survivor who is seeing a therapist who specializes in CPTSD? Then consider sending us the information about that person so we can add them to our therapist list.
Are you a therapist who treats CPTSD? Please, consider dropping us a line to add you to our growing list of providers. You would not only get aid in finding clients but also you would be helping someone find the peace they deserve.
Shortly, CPTSD Foundation will have compiled a long list of providers who treat complex post-traumatic stress disorder. When it becomes available, we will be putting it on our website www.CPTSDFoundation.org.
Make sure to visit us and sign up for our weekly newsletter that will help keep you informed on treatment options and much more for complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you or a loved one are living in the despair and isolation that comes with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, please, come to us for help. CPTSD Foundation offers a wide range of services including:
- Daily Calls
- The Healing Book Club
- Support Groups
- Our Blog
- The Trauma-Informed Newsletter
- Daily Encouragement Texts
We wish all people living with the effects of CPTSD to find the help that you need. A few of the services listed above are free, and the rest cost a modest fee. If you cannot pay the price, do not worry. Just go to https://cptsdfoundation.org/scholarship-application/ to receive help.
As always, here at CPTSD Foundation, we want to remind you that we care deeply for you. If you need help or are looking for information, please go to our website’s contact us page and drop us a note. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
My name is Shirley Davis and I am a freelance writer with over 40-years- experience writing short stories and poetry. It has only been the last two years that I discovered the world of writing articles for other people’s websites and have found it to be highly beneficial to my pocketbook. Living as I do among the corn and bean fields of Illinois (USA), working from home using the Internet has become the best way to make a living. My interests are wide and varied. I love any kind of science and read several research papers per week to satisfy my curiosity. I have earned an Associate Degree in Psychology and enjoy writing books on the subjects that most interest me. By the way, I am a published author of three books and am currently working on a fourth.