Psychological Effects Of Complex Traum Making A Case For Narrative Exposure Therapy

2697 Words May 6th, 2015 11 Pages
Rachael Wandrey
Treating the Psychological Effects of Complex Trauma:
Making a Case for Narrative Exposure Therapy
Defining Complex Trauma Complex trauma is a term that was established to differentiate traumas that occur repeatedly from traumas that happen in only one instance (herein referred to as “simple trauma”; Coutois, 2008). For instance, complex trauma is typically referred to in the context of abusive childhoods wherein the child experiences repeated traumatic events (e.g., physical or sexual abuse) over the course of their childhood. Often the trauma will occur in parent-child relationships leaving the victim under the control of the perpetrator (Herman, 1992). However, complex trauma is not limited to family violence, but can include other prolonged traumatic experiences, such as concentration camps and torture (Williams, 2006). Some researchers have argued that victims of complex trauma experience different psychological challenges than those who are victimized in one isolated incident (e.g., armed robbery). Coutois (2008) delineated seven problem areas that she believes are related to repeated early interpersonal trauma (i.e., complex trauma): 1) alterations in the regulation of affective impulses, 2) alterations in attention and consciousness, 3) alterations in self-perception, 4) alterations in perception of the perpetrator, 5) alterations in relationships to others, 6) somatization and/or medical problems, 7) alterations in…
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