This was initially a response to a post in a C-PTSD (Complex-PTSD) group: It’s simplest for me to write this in first person to speak from both the perspective of someone who offers counseling and someone who suffered from C-PTSD. I grew up in a physically and emotionally violent home and sought help from mainstream counselors and psychologists for over 20 years. During that time, I continued to experience symptoms that included anger, shame, anxiety, depression, inappropriate social behaviours, the need to control my environment, addictions, and an ongoing struggle to maintain relationships.
In 2009, I was fortunate to encounter a non-mainstream approach that literally blew my socks off. Within a few years, my entire list of symptoms had diminished to a point of nearly disappearing. Something else happened that I would never have expected and it has profound implications for anyone suffering with C-PTSD: Over time, it became more and more difficult for me to recall the trauma and the associated emotions from my youth. The only way that I can explain this is neuroplasticity, the total replacement of old neural pathways with healthier, newer pathways.
Trauma healing rapidly occurs in an environment that is unconditionally accepting and loving – where the therapist has addressed their own trauma and has embraced the shadow parts of themselves that secretly gets triggered, each time they’re exposed to a client’s trauma. It’s rare to find a counselor who has done their own healing to such a deep level, and many bring as much ‘baggage’ into the room as the clients they’re purporting to help. It’s sometimes necessary to work remotely with someone with the skills to support your healing. Thanks to skype, to Zoom and to cheap calling rates, that’s more of an option than ever before.
Over the last few years, I’ve improved on the system that helped me to alleviate the symptoms of C-PTSD, and since I have a background in engineering, I was able create a graph describing the underlying process that occurs within our psyche. It’s called a BEnome map and it can be helpful for tracing where we are in our trauma response at any particular moment in time. The Map enables us to identify changes that will contribute to a reduction and disappearance of symptoms. It does all of this without invoking either judgement or shame. If anyone would like instructions for using the BEnome Map at a rudimentary level, I’d recommend the following video
Wishing you success in finding the support you need. Philip Be’er