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  • Writer's pictureChristina

Understanding the Challenges of Healing from Complex Trauma

Updated: Apr 11

Trauma can leave deep scars on our psyche, impacting our ability to trust, form healthy relationships, and find inner peace. While all forms of trauma are challenging to overcome, complex trauma presents unique obstacles on the path to healing.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why complex trauma is harder to heal from, shedding light on the importance of seeking therapy to navigate these challenges.

At Elevation Behavioral Therapy, a trusted therapy practice in Denver, Colorado, we offer specialized trauma therapy for children, teens, and adults, providing the support needed to unravel the complexities of your trauma and find healing.

Understanding the Challenges of Healing from Complex Trauma

Understanding Complex Trauma:

Complex trauma refers to prolonged and repeated exposure to traumatic events, often occurring during childhood or within close relationships. It can encompass various forms of abuse, neglect, or violence, leaving individuals with deep emotional wounds that are intertwined with their sense of self and worldview. Unlike single-incident traumas, complex trauma involves a cumulative impact that can be more challenging to address and heal.

Fragmented Sense of Self:

One of the reasons why healing from complex trauma is harder is the fragmentation of one's sense of self. Individuals who have experienced complex trauma often struggle with a distorted self-image, feelings of shame, and a lack of trust in themselves and others. The trauma becomes deeply ingrained in their identity, making it difficult to separate their true selves from the traumatic experiences they endured.

Interpersonal Challenges:

Complex trauma often occurs within the context of close relationships, such as family or caregiver dynamics. As a result, individuals who have experienced complex trauma may struggle with forming and maintaining healthy relationships. Trust issues, fear of abandonment, and difficulties with emotional intimacy can hinder the healing process, as therapy often requires building a trusting therapeutic relationship.

Emotional Dysregulation:

Complex trauma can disrupt the development of emotional regulation skills, leading to difficulties in managing and expressing emotions. Individuals may experience intense emotional reactions, such as anger, fear, or sadness, that are disproportionate to the current situation. This emotional dysregulation can make it challenging to engage in therapy effectively, as regulating emotions is a crucial aspect of the healing process.

Repetition of Patterns:

Complex trauma can create patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms that were adaptive during the traumatic experiences but are maladaptive in everyday life. These patterns, such as dissociation, self-harm, or substance abuse, can become deeply ingrained and difficult to break. Overcoming these patterns requires a comprehensive and individualized approach that addresses the underlying trauma and provides alternative coping strategies.

Rebuilding a Sense of Safety:

Healing from complex trauma often involves rebuilding a sense of safety and trust in oneself and the world. This process can be particularly challenging, as the trauma may have shattered the individual's belief in their own agency and the reliability of others. Therapy provides a safe and supportive environment where individuals can explore their trauma, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and gradually rebuild their sense of safety and trust.

Seeking Trauma Therapy in Denver, Colorado:

At Elevation Behavioral Therapy, we understand the unique challenges faced by individuals healing from complex trauma. Our trauma therapy is specifically designed to address the complexities of trauma and provide a path towards healing and recovery. Our experienced therapists offer evidence-based approaches, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), to help individuals unravel the layers of their trauma and find inner peace.

Healing from complex trauma is a journey that requires patience, compassion, and specialized support. The fragmented sense of self, interpersonal challenges, emotional dysregulation, repetition of patterns, and the need to rebuild a sense of safety all contribute to the complexity of healing.

If you have experienced complex trauma, seeking trauma therapy is a vital step towards reclaiming your life and finding healing.

We welcome you to book a free 20 minute initial phone consultation or first appointment with one of our licensed clinical therapists here. Or email us at or call or text us at (720) 295-6566 if you have questions or concerns.

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