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People with Complex Trauma

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People with Complex Trauma

The word ‘trauma’ is used to describe many different situations or events that a person encounters involving a threat to life or physical wellbeing, that has an impact on the normal functioning of that individual, or group (Higgins, Hunter & Wall, 2016). Where ‘complex’ trauma differs is that it is categorised as involving interpersonal stressors, that is occurring between two or more people, and is likely acute and prolonged (Higgins, Hunter & Wall, 2016).  When such trauma occurs in childhood, it occurs alongside critical developmental stages in a child’s cognitive and social development (Moore et al, 2017; Cohen, 2006; Higgins, Hunter & Wall, 2016). 

In Australia 1 in 4 adults have a lived experience of complex trauma, a reality which is now increasingly acknowledged in the mental health field (Kezelman & Stavropoulous, 2019).  Along with the knowledge of this existence and prevalence, is the increasing understanding that trauma-informed practice requires a renewed look at counselling practice.   The profound impact of trauma on an individual, family and community, across aspects of mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual functioning and wellbeing, requires a difference lens for effective, safe practice (Menschner et al., 2016). 

Read the following article

The Science of Trauma, Mindfulness, and PTSD – Mindful