Complex PTSD (or Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or Complex Trauma) is getting more attention. As a trauma therapist in Oakland, CA, this is how I define and describe C-PTSD.
Attachment theory isn't the only way to think of how you and your partners show up in relationships. The Relationship Grid developed by Terry Real can be helpful to identify the strategies you use when stressed or in conflict.
Which quadrant do you find yourself?
Are you trying to get rid of your anger? Are you trying to calm your friends and partner down when they feel angry? Here's why you may want to reconsider that approach...
🔥 𝘙𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴' 𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘤𝘺. 🔥 Ever heard the term "blind rage"? If you relate, read below...
As a couples therapist in Oakland, CA, I often advise partners to "approach the bear" when their partner is angry. 🔥 𝘙𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴' 𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘤𝘺. 🔥
Individuals who've experienced complex trauma and/or emotionally dysregulated caretakers may experience heightened anger or have a hard time experiencing and interacting with anger at all.
𝖆𝖈𝖙𝖎𝖛𝖊 𝖑𝖎𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖓𝖎𝖓𝖌 is simple in concept but at times, difficult to execute. As a queer couples therapist in Oakland, CA, I often coach clients and provide opportunity to use 𝖆𝖈𝖙𝖎𝖛𝖊 𝖑𝖎𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖓𝖎𝖓𝖌 skills. 𝖆𝖈𝖙𝖎𝖛𝖊 𝖑𝖎𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖓𝖎𝖓𝖌 is listening with the intention of deeply understanding another person 𝕒𝕟𝕕 helping another person ✨feel✨ you are fully present to hear about and understand their experience.
A client told me about this NYTimes article and I love the simplicity of the author's advice: As a queer couple's therapist in Oakland, CA, I often emphasize when you offer a loved-one support, it's best to know what support you need! It's common for people to jump into advice or problem-solving when emotional validation is desired...and the opposite is frustrating, too!
So before you jump to help, ask do you need to be 𝕙𝕖𝕝𝕡𝕖𝕕, 𝕙𝕖𝕒𝕣𝕕, 𝕠𝕣 𝕙𝕦𝕘𝕘𝕖𝕕.
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."
***Resources are not a substitute for therapy and are not intended for making diagnoses or providing treatment. Not all practices and tools are suitable for every person. Please discuss exercises, practices, and tools with your individual therapist or health care provider.