The Octagon

worried girl, woman, waiting

Complex Trauma

Working to resolve past and ongoing trauma through psychotherapy.

There are 3 types of trauma: acute, chronic and complex, the latter being the most difficult to diagnose and treat.

Complex trauma is the result of prolonged exposure to several traumatic events or experiences. These events are usually interpersonal, for example: childhood abuse, domestic violence, family tension or neglect. In most cases, the person feels trapped. This manifests into a negative impact on the person’s state of mind. 

Complex trauma generally affects the person’s overall health, relationships, work/school performance. Trauma counselling is usually required to help process negative emotions and experiences in order to start healing.

Symptoms of childhood trauma in adults includes: feelings of shame or guilt, relationship and commitment issues, an insecure attachment style, inability to control or understand one’s emotions and in some cases, a combination of anxiety and depression. These symptoms are often debilitating, effecting the individual’s quality of life on a daily basis.

Although complex trauma does not always start from childhood, the events can occur in early adulthood or more recently, causing heightened distress. Trauma counselling helps the survivor to understand and process their thoughts and feelings, whilst giving advice on how to deal with trauma using helpful strategies.

Trauma, however severe, is treatable. Counselling and psychotherapy has proven very beneficial over the years, allowing trauma survivors to regain a sense of control over their life. Most approaches involve learning skills to address both symptoms of childhood trauma in adults or symptoms occurring as a result of recent trauma. Together, we will work on how to empower yourself and overcome traumatic experiences.


What is childhood trauma?

Childhood trauma is a broad overview of negative life experiences during childhood. This can include, but is not limited to, neglect, psychological or sexual abuse, abandonment, having a mentally ill parent or being a carer from a young age. In therapy, symptoms of childhood trauma in adults are often addressed to start the healing process.

How to recover from emotional trauma?

Whilst there are several different approaches to choose from, counselling and psychotherapy are amongst the best services to recover from emotional trauma. This approach aims to tackle distressing events as well as work on existing issues, and implements ways to empower the self.

What are the three types of trauma?

  1. Acute trauma: usually occurs after a single distressing event like an accident, sexual assault or a natural disaster.
  2. Chronic trauma: usually occurs when a person is exposed to multiple or prolonged distressing and traumatic events. These span over a long period of time. Examples include: domestic violence, sexual abuse, serious illness or exposure to extreme violence (war or terrorism). 
  3. Complex trauma: usually develops after multiple incidents of trauma over a prolonged period of time. The events are usually interpersonal, like childhood abuse, domestic violence or family tension. This type of trauma has a severe negative impact on the individual’s psyche.

Where to find trauma counselling near me?

I work with children, adolescents and adults to help them heal from complex trauma. I work online and in-person to give you the most tailored approach that suits your needs. Please call for more information.

What are symptoms of complex trauma?

A psychologist is the best opinion to seek for a formal diagnosis. However, common symptoms of complex trauma include: low mood, intense anxiety, attachment issues, unhealthy relationships, poor overall health and also affects school/work performance.