Trauma and Attachment Specialty

The Attach Place offers a specialist trauma and attachment service for children and adults who have been through stressful and frightening events.

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Our trauma therapists come with extensive experience of working sensitively and effectively with individuals who have been traumatized through their life experiences, and we draw on a range of evidence-based treatments.

There are two forms of trauma that can affect us. The first is known as ‘Simple’ Trauma, which is a certain collection of symptoms that often develop following a one-off incident, such as a traffic accident, a natural disaster, or a sexual assault. This kind of trauma can have a huge impact on an individual’s life and relationships. The symptoms can feel very strange and often make individuals feel as if they have gone ‘crazy’; but in fact, these are very normal reactions to abnormal events. This kind of trauma can be treated very effectively using a number of therapies including, Internal Family Systems (IFS), EMDR, Neurofeedback, Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

In our experience, once the core symptoms have been addressed, the individual is able to move forward to a deeper understanding of themselves and the meaning of their life following this extreme event which has given them a new perspective. This is known as post-traumatic growth.

The second form of trauma is known as ‘Complex Trauma” or ‘Complex PTSD’. In children, this is known as ‘Complex Developmental Trauma.’Complex Trauma often develops after the individual has suffered repeated, severe, interpersonal trauma such as sexual, emotional and physical abuse; neglect during childhood; repeated loss and abandonment; domestic abuse, community violence or being held hostage for a prolonged period of time. Complex PTSD has a profound and long-lasting impact on the individual’s well-being and development as a whole person.

While Complex Developmental Trauma looks different in children compared to adults, there are some broad difficulties which are common regardless of age. The mind and body automatically find ways to survive intimate trauma, and everyone subjected to repeated trauma will find ways to protect themselves from further trauma. We also know that repeated trauma of a personal nature can affect how our brain develops, and so it is much harder for chronically traumatized children and adults to manage relationships, emotions, and behaviors in healthy ways.

The problems associated with Complex Trauma can be seen as the person’s best possible ways of surviving a world which can feel extremely threatening.

Both children and adults with Complex Trauma often struggle in the following ways:

  • Problems in regulating their feelings and actions – leading to extreme emotional highs and lows and self-destructive behaviors to cope with daily life.
  • Difficulties processing sensory experiences and regulating the body.
  • Difficulties in memory and making sense of themselves – leaving the person with a poor or fragmented sense of identity, memory gaps, and a confused ‘life story.’
  • Trusting others feels frightening – making stable, caring, intimate relationships hard to tolerate.
  • Experiencing a long-lasting negative self-image which often includes feelings of guilt, shame, badness, and being ‘flawed’ beyond repair.
  • A sense of being responsible or deserving of the abuse that has taken place.
  • Body complaints and illnesses which are often medically unexplainable – the body remembers trauma which sometimes our minds try hard to forget.

Treatment for Complex Trauma takes time, and often needs a combination of therapies and sometimes a team approach. Our experience is that with hope and the right therapeutic support, individuals struggling with Complex Trauma symptoms can recover and create the life they would like to live.

You can find out more information by emailing info@attachplace.com or make an appointment below.