Bridging the healing gap, leaving a legacy of healing for future generations.
To end the cycle of complex relational trauma by providing the safety, life skills, relational education, and reparative experiences a survivor needs so they can create new habits and experience optimum health in every area of life.
The heartbeat and oxygen of our organization is our diverse, global community of survivors, supporters, helping professionals, and organizations leveraging the latest technologies to offer virtual daily interactive peer support programs and trauma-informed educational resources; continually seeking and embracing innovative approaches to bridging the gap in the mental health space while ensuring inclusion and equity of treatment to the individual and collective needs of our changing culture.
The Challenge: What is CPTSD?
Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) describes the results of ongoing, inescapable, relational trauma. Unlike Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex PTSD always involves being hurt by another person. These hurts are ongoing, repeated, and often involving a betrayal and loss of safety.
It is estimated that 70% of adults or 223.4 million people in the United States have experienced at least one form of trauma in their lifetime, as reported by the National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH) in 2013. In addition, 90% of childhood sexual abuse victims, 33% of children exposed to community violence, and 77% of children exposed to school shootings develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (NCBH).
Humans require safe people, safe places, and safe things during childhood and adolescence in order for healthy brain development to take place. Many adult survivors of complex trauma, having experienced this loss of safety, had no agency over themselves or their environment during critical times in brain development for extended periods of time. This loss of agency during their early years stunted their growth, depriving them of the opportunity to create the lives they deserved, and has ultimately left many stripped of their sense of worth and sense of self. Without the ability to understand what has happened, young survivors grow up to be adults who live in this same constant state of hypervigilance and suffering, even after escaping physical danger.
Adult survivors of complex trauma often experience amnesia, alienation, chronic mistrust, chronic physical pain, re-victimization, debilitating flashbacks, nightmares, body memories, anxiety, dissociation, trouble with regulating volatile emotions, severe depression, toxic shame, auto-immune disease, along with other deeply distressing and potentially life-altering symptoms.
In addition to the mental and emotional effects of CPTSD, the Adverse Childhood Experiences study shows that individuals who experience higher levels of childhood trauma have increased risks for additional health problems. These include Coronary Heart Disease (13%) and COPD (27%), as well as increased risk for health risk behaviors such as smoking (33%) and heavy drinking (24%).
The severe impact of these aftereffects causes many adult survivors to isolate as a means of coping with their overwhelming feelings of unsafety. The isolation meant to keep them safe often leads to despair and suicidality, which increases the possibility of inadvertently modeling these dangerous behaviors and coping strategies for their own children, thereby creating intergenerational cycles of trauma.
Healing CPTSD requires creating some new daily habits. These new daily habits afford adult survivors the profoundly empowering opportunity to reclaim their sense of agency, and sense of self worth. Once equipped, they can day-by-day create their new lives, and look forward to their future, ultimately resulting in the prevention of complex relational trauma, leaving a legacy of healing for future generations.
Here, at CPTSD Foundation, we are helping to end the cycles of complex relational trauma by providing the safety, life skills, relational education, and reparative experiences needed to create new daily habits, improving every area of life.
The Foundation for Post-Traumatic Healing and Complex Trauma Research (CPTSD Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing virtual, daily, interactive support, evidence-based resources, and a thriving, diverse, inclusive, trauma-informed community where safety and healing become more possible every day.
The foundation is built on the recognition that complex relational trauma does not have one face or one experience, but is, instead, a unique hurt and experience which is deeply personal to each survivor. Yet, with a continually growing global community that is committed to learning and healing, no survivor has to walk alone on their journey.
We provide programs including Daily Recovery Support Calls, Daily Encouraging Text Messages, Healing Book Club, weekly live streams, and a 24/7 virtual safe support group where our diverse global community has access to myriad trauma-informed articles based both on groundbreaking research and the lived experience of survivors.
These powerful daily touchpoints serve as a supplemental resource for those seeking to feel more connected and less alone during those particularly difficult times between therapy appointments and/or during the transition from any intensive psychiatric care.
These programs, resources, and the foundation’s safe, compassionate, diverse community provide an innovative approach while ensuring inclusion and equity of treatment to the individual and collective needs of anyone healing complex relational trauma.
It has become a sacred space for me to return to again and again. This is new for me, I’ve never experienced this before. Home. It is what I imagine ‘home’ to feel like. So grateful!!!!!
These calls have changed my life. I feel encouraged every time I join my “framily” on a daily call. I know I’m supported, and I feel comfortable in sharing my struggles.
I never realized how helpful these calls could be. I’m so glad I decided to joined, and take a chance on myself. I learn so much, and always feel validated when I have the opportunity to join a call.