Complex/Developmental Trauma

AdobeStock_241132942 copy.jpeg
The child has
few strategies
for survival
beyond his or her
own imagination.
What is Complex Trauma?

"Complex trauma describes both children’s exposure to multiple traumatic events—often of an invasive, interpersonal nature—and the wide-ranging, long-term effects of this exposure. These events are severe and pervasive, such as abuse or profound neglect. They usually occur early in life and can disrupt many aspects of the child’s development and the formation of a sense of self. Since these events often occur with a caregiver, they interfere with the child’s ability to form a secure attachment. Many aspects of a child’s healthy physical and mental development rely on this primary source of safety and stability." See the National Traumatic Stress Network

What is Developmental Trauma?

Complex trauma doesn't fully describe the impact of when the trauma occurs--at what developmental stage. My expertise in early-childhood development tells me this understanding is crucial. The same trauma at age three and age six will result in varying symptoms and degrees of those symptoms. 

 

How do Dissociative Disorders Develop?

Dissociative coping strategies allowed me to live an apparently "normal" life, but with deep inner turmoil I could not understand. The BRAVE books give a more complete picture of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), but this is a start:

 

"Individuals with DID report the highest rates of childhood trauma, particularly physical, sexual, and emotional abuse – generally beginning before the age of six – of patients with any psychiatric disorder. Because of this, DID can be conceptualized as a childhood onset, post-traumatic developmental disorder in which the traumatized child is unable to complete the normal developmental processes involved in consolidating a core sense of self." See more . . . 

What are ACEs?

Probably not other single research study has had the impact of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) research study.

The following websites will provide the basics: