Find A C-PTSD Therapist Nearby

By Sarah Fader |Updated August 17, 2022

Content/Trigger Warning: Please be advised, the below article might discuss topics that include sensitive content such as trauma or violence.

If you're living with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, it's important to know that you are not alone. PTSD counseling has improved the lives of many who are struggling with this condition. 

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There is hope and help for this condition. This article will cover how to find the right therapist to begin your healing process toward a healthy, fulfilling life.

What Can I Do For My Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

You might be wondering what you can do to cope with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, including how to find therapists. One of the best ways to manage Complex PTSD is awareness, and you can find that emotional insight by seeing a licensed therapist who specializes in trauma and recovery. It's one thing to go to a therapist and another to see a therapist who deals explicitly with trauma therapy and recovery.

When you have Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, you want to see a provider who has experience treating clients who have been through traumatic experiences similar to those you have endured. It could be even specific to your coping mechanisms, whether that’s substance use disorder or self harm, or whether you experienced the trauma at an early age or later in life. These professionals will help you address your trauma and teach coping techniques.

You may be wondering, what are the best coping strategies for Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Coping strategies can be divided into three categories:

  • Distraction - This is a coping technique where the individual engages in an activity that distracts them from their pain or discomfort.
  • Soothing - When a person engages in an activity to calm themselves during a triggering episode.
  • Balancing - Balancing to cope involves using logic rather than emotion. You assess the situation and decide what practical action you can take to help yourself. That could be reaching out to a professional for help. Or, perhaps it's a grounding exercise to bring you back from the beginning signs of a panic attack.

These are a few of the strategies that a person with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can use to cope with their illness. We'll go into detail about the signs of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder later in the article.

Another useful strategy is education. For example, you could read the “Trauma Blog” by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, browse the resources available to you from the National Institute for Mental Health,

"BetterHelp understands how painful trauma can be. The online counselors here at BetterHelp are dedicated to supporting you through your health journey and will let you go at your own pace."

Many People Live Well With This Challenge

According to the APA, the majority of people will experience trauma in their lives. Additionally, approximately 5.2 million people in the US between 18 and 54 (around 3.6 percent of people in this age group each year) have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you're among those living with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, you are not alone. You can join the millions of people who have successfully gotten the help they need through a therapist.

It can help to have a reliable support system of friends and family to talk to about your trauma. In general, families—including all family members—need to be supportive to help you manage your PTSD.

That said, one of the best ways to work on overcoming your trauma is with a mental health professional, whether online or in your local area. Several kinds of therapy can work for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but one of the most effective is EMDR. In EMDR, the client follows their therapist's fingers back and forth and thinks of a painful thoughts associated with their trauma. After doing this, the patient then closes their eyes and lets their mind wander. As the mind wanders, it begins to process the trauma the person experienced. This process allows a patient to confront trauma in a safe space with a trusted therapist. There's also trauma-focused therapy, where the client works with a trusted health professional to delve into the trauma itself and learns coping strategies for resulting panic, anxiety, and depression. Many other forms of therapy can also help trauma survivors, and we will discuss them later on in this article.

BetterHelp Can Help With PTSD

Research shows that an online therapist can be a powerful in reducing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This study, for example, found that an online licensed mental health professional is a useful option for people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and more efficient than a face-to-face therapist. A web-based counselor can still maintain the important therapeutic relationship found in more traditional settings, so you will still have the opportunity to develop a strong connection to your counselor.

Every person needs to feel comfortable with their therapist, but it is particularly important for those with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. BetterHelp will work to match you with a therapist who makes you feel safe and who you can trust. When you see an online counselor who specializes in trauma and recovery, you can be sure that you're in a secure space where you can speak your truth and begin to process what you've been through. The excellent counselors at BetterHelp aren't here to judge but rather to help you treat your scars and traumatic experiences. BetterHelp therapists will also let you go at your own pace. Healing from trauma is a journey, and your counselor understands this. You can take space to sort through your concerns. Read below for reviews of BetterHelp counselors.

Counselor Reviews

"Jessica is amazing!! She is so understanding and empathetic. She has done a great job helping me work through my trauma while providing a safe environment that I feel comfortable in. I would recommend her to anybody and everybody!”

“Carmen is really insightful and listens to me, and acknowledges my experience and challenges with PTSD. I feel heard and supported. It’s been only a short amount of time but I am confident in her ability to help me.”

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PTSD Therapist 

Once you work through that trauma, you can develop a plan to start healing and living a fulfilling life. Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a severe health issue, but it's highly treatable with PTSD therapists and online therapy can be an excellent option.

What Is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or complex post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition similar to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The difference between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the cause that led to the growth of the disorder. These two psychological disorders have many symptoms but understanding the reasons that led to the disorder will help a trained psychology professional make a diagnosis and put you on a path to healing.

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychological disorder that develops from prolonged trauma. Repeated trauma that causes harm by an intimate caregiver and situations wherein the individual is helpless, trapped, and can leave the individual with severe health disorders.

This disorder is not yet listed in the DMV-5, but it is under consideration. Many psychology professionals recognize Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it is understood as having different causes and symptoms than Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many psychology journals have already published information about Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, further separating it from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

What Are The Symptoms Of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Complex PTSD symptoms manifest in different ways, and a child or adolescent might exhibit different symptoms than an adult. Where Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is often the result of a single traumatizing life event, such as sexual violence, those with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder have experienced multiple repeated traumatizing life events, such as continual abuse at the hands of a parent.

Here is a tentative list of symptoms for children and adolescents with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

  • Cognitive challenges such as difficulty processing new information and with executive functions such as planning and self-monitoring
  • Challenges such as lack of empathy, lack of trust, relationship boundaries, and social isolation
  • Emotional challenges such as difficulty regulating, identifying, and expressing emotions
  • Disassociation challenges such as amnesia and forgetting specific events
  • Behavioral challenges such as aggression, self-soothing, and impulsiveness
  • Physical/biological challenges such as sleep disturbances, sensory-motor skills, sensory integration, and pronounced health challenges

PTSD may not be the same for a child versus an adult. Here is a list of symptoms for adults with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

  • Emotional challenges such as difficulty regulating emotions, suicidal thoughts, and explosive or inhibited anger
  • Consciousness challenges such as forgetting traumatic events, reliving experiences of traumatic events, disassociation, and preoccupation with traumatic events
  • Feelings of helplessness, guilt, a sense of being different than others
  • Challenges concerning relationships such as isolation, withdrawal, or lack of trust
  • Psychotic challenges and breaks with reality

If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and is available to assist 24/7.

You can read about additional symptoms here. The importance of finding the right therapist for complex post-traumatic stress disorder should not be ignored. If you or a person you love lives with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, there is help. The right therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist can make a remarkable difference and provide the tools needed to manage this disorder and find peace.

You can read the full study here: A therapist-assisted cognitive behavior therapy internet intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder: Pre-, post- and 3-month follow-up results from an open trial.

Finding The Right Therapist For Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The right mental health professional will make a world of difference for anyone who lives with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Consider these tips to help you or a loved one find a psychology professional:

  • Look for a professional who is experienced in the best therapy for Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
    • CBT or cognitive behavioral professional
    • CPT or cognitive processing professional
    • PE or prolonged exposure professional
    • EMDR desensitizing and reprocessing
    • Evidence-based professional
  • Find out if the professional you are interested in has experience with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Make sure the professional is licensed
  • Find out if your insurance is accepted
  • Ask questions before you decide
    • What is your education and are you licensed?
    • Can you prescribe drugs?
    • What kinds of therapy do you provide?
    • Do you have any specialty areas?
    • Have you treated patients with this condition before?

Here are some popular questions about this topic:

What type of counselor is best for PTSD?
Is Counselling good for PTSD?
Who should I consult for PTSD?
What are 5 treatments for PTSD?
Is a psychiatrist or psychologist better for PTSD?
Can therapy make trauma worse?
Does PTSD ever go away?
What happens if PTSD is left untreated?
Is PTSD a disability?
What are the 5 stages of PTSD?

You Don't Have To Face Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Alone.
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