Hi, I am Vicky a new guest writer with CPTSD Foundation.

I understand first-hand how complex trauma can take your life from under your feet, causing a
domino effect on your work, family life, and daily living.

I have always been a creative person and even as a child, I was always painting or making
something with glue. So when a sequence of tragedies happened to me, years later my creativity
was the first thing that disappeared overnight. At the time, I did not understand what was
happening to my brain, however, with time and perseverance, I finally started on creative projects

Complex trauma changes the way the brain works

Complex trauma changes the way the brain works and simple tasks like driving my car were not
even possible. I felt extremely frustrated with my daily routine, unable to work or concentrate. I
felt like I had regressed to being a child, needing constant reassurance and support to

One thing I found pleasure in at that time was doing jigsaw puzzles. Something I loved doing as
a child. They were 1000-2000 piece puzzles which allowed me to focus on colours and
shapes without the pressure of social media or technology.

It has only been through research in the last few years, that professionals have finally
acknowledged that wholesome creative activities can help support a person who is suffering
from trauma-related injuries. Adult coloring books are one huge mindful activity that anyone can
do which is not too expensive. It allows a person to focus on their thoughts and feelings in a way
that calms the mind.

Creative Journaling

Another therapeutic activity to help to heal from complex trauma is creative journaling. Using
paints, pencils, and photographs, it allows you to write or draw your feelings and emotions.
Keep them in a private notebook or diary to reflect on.

Other creative activities that help with complex trauma are music and dance. Both are uplifting
and therapeutic which relaxes the body and brain as well as supports your daily routine. The beat
of music helps the brain and your symptoms through movement and expression.

One thing I have found through healing from complex trauma and supporting others is that your
feelings are valid. Not all professionals understand your circumstances despite their best
efforts. However, the fact that it’s your trauma, makes it important that you can be supported
holistically, meaning in body, in mind, and in spirit. You are responsible for your healing, which in
turn makes you the best advocate for your needs.

Sometimes moving away to a new city can help you heal from the past, But if you do not have a
great support network, then moving might be a bad idea as you can become isolated and feel

In my experience, there is no right or wrong way to heal from complex trauma. I do think that
alternative holistic approaches have a place in a client’s healing journey, accepting complex
trauma changes a person’s life. And I believe creativity should be used more in the healing
processes. Exploring creativity and healing needs to be included in a client’s notes, with more
emphasis on its holistic benefits.1


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