Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


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The Shame & Hurt Of Being An ‘Untouchable’ Client – To My Therapist ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I have always assumed my therapist has a ‘no touching clients’ rule. I assumed this, because within the last 5 years I have been seeing her, she has never held my hand, or hugged me. And I know about therapy boundaries, and ethical codes of conduct. So, I know some therapists still choose to hug etc, but some don’t.  I assumed the latter, was the case for my counsellor.

This week, however, while I was sitting in the waiting room, I realised she does not have this rule, for all her clients. I saw her hug and kiss a woman on the cheek. I could tell by the conversation, this woman was not a friend, because she hadn’t seen her for a while. And if this woman was a friend, she wouldn’t be at the counselling centre making an appointment.

It shocked me, because this was not something I ever expected to see. And it made me realise, I had assumed she had this ‘no touch’ rule, which made me feel better, about her not hugging me, or holding my hand, like I know other therapists choose to.

Of course, I have been wondering since, why she chooses not to have physical contact with me? What’s wrong with me, that makes me someone she would not touch? Bearing in mind as well, that she was a GP for years prior to becoming a counsellor, so she is very used to touching patients.

Obviously there is something about me, that I don’t realise – makes normal people not want to touch me. And it seems only toxic, abusive people want to touch me.

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It is very painful to realise this. I must be repulsive in some way that I don’t understand. I always shower prior to appointments. I wear clean clothes. I’m not repulsive in my appearance. So, I can only assume it is my personality, or my character that is the issue. Or, maybe it’s my past and someone like me, really is damaged goods? And that makes normal people find me physically repulsive? Maybe, Continue reading


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Therapists with “God Complexes’ traumatise their clients

Glad to have had this issue validated by a psychologist, who explained the varying reasons why some therapists have very unhealthy attitudes.

One reason – is the ‘Therapist God Complex’.

It is very interesting.

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-God-Complex-in-Therapy-Counselling&id=3518317 Continue reading


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“The fact that you’ve managed to make so much progress, despite an inadequate therapist, says a lot about your strength and your determination to heal. Respect!”

A comment made on Facebook to me…..

Hope you find a better therapist. The fact that you’ve managed to make so much progress, despite an inadequate therapist, says a lot about your strength and your determination to heal. Respect!”

I wrote on my Facebook page about the latest issues in counselling, that are the last straw. I know when being with a counsellor for 5 years, and she is still victim blaming/shaming, I needed to end it.

My first counsellor (who I was with for a year) – told me I was doing most of my own counselling. And she was right. Over the last 5 years, I have done most of my own counselling.

Throughout my entire time with my last counsellor – issues repeatedly came up regarding her lack of insight about abuse and abusers and the inappropriate things she has said. Some of which she did apologise for. Some she denied.

This last one, was more than I could handle. It was the final straw.

I realise my capacity for self care, is far stronger now. I should have walked away from counselling when issues came up a few years ago. But, I didn’t because 1) I am used to tolerating harmful people & 2) I had transference issues, of having feelings for her like Continue reading


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My article on questions to ask therapists, is ruffling feathers ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

My article on ‘questions to ask potential therapists, about complex trauma’ – is certainly ruffling a few feathers.

Article here @ https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/published-by-the-minds-journal/

This article has been published by the Minds Journal.

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Some feedback, is great and is giving survivors confidence to ask questions and know whether the therapist is adequately trauma informed, or not. And I am glad this is giving people confidence.

Other feedback has stated therapists are refusing to answer the questions and fumbling the answers.

One survivor stated the therapist after being asked the questions…. refused to answer them and then told the potential client – she was not taking on any new clients.

Red flags….

All this confirms to me, there are inadequately trained/educated/insightful therapists out there, as I knew, who are working outside of their professional capacity.

And that is very dangerous to a complex trauma survivor. Suicide is a high risk for many complex trauma survivor with severe complex PTSD. And the risk after being re-traumatised and having secondary trauma from a therapist, intensifies this risk. And deeply embedded issues of trust, can be severely impacted and worsened, by bad/inadequate therapy. Continue reading


So thankful for professional’s feedback :)

I was very thankful to receive this feedback about my article on ‘Questions To Ask Potential Therapists About Complex Trauma’.

See article here published by The Minds Journal http://themindsjournal.com/questions-ask-potential-therapists-treating-complex-trauma-lilly-hope-lucario/

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Amanda Williamson, is a counsellor in UK, see @ http://www.amandawilliamsoncounselling.co.uk/


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My doctor/counsellor, is the only safe relationship, I’ve ever had.

I’ve been in counselling for 4 years. My doctor/counsellor, takes time off for training courses she conducts around the world, and for annual leave, for 3-6 weeks at a time.

As much as I am totally okay and supportive of all her work and need to take time off, I am also always very uneasy whenever she is away.

lost

Just knowing that I don’t have that weekly time, to talk about whatever is needed and have her encouragement and support, is not a place I like being in.

My doctor/counsellor, is the only safe relationship I have ever had. And that is a big deal for me. It’s a big deal for any childhood complex trauma survivor to feel….. safe. Or as safe as is possible. As safe as I am capable of feeling.

I feel a bit lost, when she’s away. Clearly, I am still not at a point Continue reading


16 Comments

Questions To Ask Potential Therapists About Treating Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I am aware of the vital necessity, for any therapist treating a survivor of complex trauma, to have enough insight, education, training, experience, empathy and knowledge about complex trauma.

Without these, many complex trauma survivors are harmed further, re-traumatised and this can greatly harm their healing journey. It can lead to suicide. It can lead to the survivor, never seeking help again.

There are many deep and complex layers of trauma, involved in complex trauma. Complex trauma is severe, ongoing interpersonal abuse, where the victim does not have or perceive a viable escape. Trust has already been destroyed during the abuse occurring. Often boundaries have been abused and the client’s survival tools, will include a lack of trust with anyone. Very understandably.

The therapy relationship may be the only relationship the client has, to talk openly and without fear of judgment, invalidation, minimization of the suffering caused.

More information about complex trauma, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be found on my website

@ http://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/.

My website is supported by many mental health professionals, in the trauma field.

Building a relationship with a therapist, will likely be a challenging journey. But, a ‘safe enough’ therapy relationship, will be required. Safety, for many complex trauma survivors, is a fear inducing situation. It can take considerable time to build up enough trust and safety with a client. That is normal.

I advise people seeking therapy, to find out whether the potential therapist, is adequately skilled, to provide the quality of therapy required.

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The following, is a list of potential questions I recommend, to discern if the therapist will be suitable.

And remembering the therapist is there to provide a service to you (the client) and they should be receptive to questions. It is needed to know whether any potential therapist is suitable for a complex trauma survivor.

It may feel awkward to questions, but it is our right, to ask. In not asking questions, we have no gauge as to the quality of therapy and that can result in more harm, or being further traumatised.

Questions.

1. Ask the therapist, what they know about the differences between trauma and complex trauma?

They should have an in depth knowledge of this subject. They should know trauma can be caused by events such as a one time sexual assault in adulthood, a car crash, military combat, the unexpected death of a loved one etc.

They should also know complex trauma is ongoing interpersonal trauma/abuse, caused by people. It is long term abuse, or multiple abuse/trauma. It is within a captivity situation, where there is no perceived means of escape. It causes deep, pervasive and complex issues with trust, emotion regulation, sense of identity, emotional flashbacks, inner critic, toxic shame and social anxiety. To name a few.

The therapist, needs to be very aware of the deeper issues caused by complex trauma, as  opposed to other types of trauma.

2. Ask the therapist, how many clients they have treated for complex trauma?

They need to be experienced in providing therapy. Continue reading


Complex Trauma survivors, need insightful, empathic therapy.

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More info about this, by Pete Walker @ http://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/#!for-therapists-treating-complex-ptsd/chkc

Trust is a huge issue for many childhood complex trauma survivors. If the client is re-traumatised, harmed by non appropriate therapy, it could be the last time they try to trust anyone.

Therapy needs to be empathic & insightful enough, to keep the client safe, and where trust can grow and develop over time.

 


I have increased anxiety. My counsellor is away.

Whenever my counsellor takes time off, I realise how much I need counselling. And I am honest to know and recognise now, how much I probably take it for granted. And that is not okay.

She is away for 2 weeks. As soon as she told me this, my anxiety went up.

Being someone who thinks differently to many people, I have no-one else except my counsellor, to share my thoughts with. She helps me to put into words, the thoughts I am processing.

Often she explains the psychology terminology/basis, or Biblical verses, to confirm my thinking. Often she confirms the emotions I have, and how they are needed. Which in a society mostly wanting people to suppress, avoid their emotions, I realise how much her support and willingness to listen to me, and validate my journey, is vital in my life and healing.

I think I would have gone insane, if I had not had her to share my journey with. Because I do not know anyone else in my life, who understands my thinking.

My thinking is so different from anyone I know, that it has at times, made me feel like I must be crazy. But, I do know, I live in a crazy, bizarre world, and I am not crazy, at all. Far from, according to my counsellor. I was so relieved when she explained my capacity for deeper thinking and my honesty, insight and self insight, are a ‘breath of fresh air, and rare’. And how I teach her and have wisdom to share with her, in the same way she has wisdom, I learn from. Continue reading