5 thoughts on “Why A Good Complex Trauma Therapist is Hard to Find

  • October 23, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I’ve been wanting for a long time to find a therapist who can help with complex trauma. I’ve basically given up. Do you have any suggestions or know of anywhere I can find one?

    • October 23, 2014 at 10:37 am

      That would have been a good thing to add the post. Two websites that list clinicians who specifically treat complex trauma are sidran.org and ISSTD.org. Also, if a clinician is trained in and familiar with DBT, then they are probably equipped to handle complex trauma, though it would be helpful to ask if they also do trauma narratives or trauma processing, since that is not a part of DBT but it is a crucial part of trauma therapy.

  • August 5, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    I’ve tried both those sites and get zero results. I’ve also tried other searches within 100+ miles of me and get nothing. In fact, there isn’t even a ‘complex ptsd’ specialty search available. I mean,what am I supposed to put? Anxiety? Depression/mood disorder? Attachment disorder? Self injury? Dissociative disorder? ‘Regular’ ptsd? Generic ‘trauma’? Panic disorder? Relational difficulties? ‘Identity problems'(that one cracks me up)? ETC ETC ETC
    I have tried several counselors/social workers/psychiatrists/psychologists over a period of several years. I try them out just based on the fact that they even mention ptsd in their listing of 25 other ‘specialties’. Really? That’s a pretty broad range of specialties. Child, foster care, adoption, marriage and family, add/adhd, life transitions, phobias, bipolar, depression and anxiety….yada yada yada….and all the way at the bottom is ‘trauma/ptsd’. Newsflash…if you have a list of 25 different, VERY unrelated specialties listed, it tells me that you’re more likely a jack of all trades but master of none. Chances are, 97% of therapists in my entire state have never actually had more than say one patient who was anything like me. Or they have, but they slapped them with Borderline Personality Disorder. I have been fortunate enough to find a therapist who admits to me that they’ve never really treated someone quite like me before with complex trauma, but they tell me that they are learning from me while I am learning from them. They say they are willing to see this through for however long it takes. They’ve clearly altered there approach from the beginning. They admit treating vets with ptsd and treating me with complex ptsd (I actually wish DESNOS had stuck instead. At least then our condition/syndrome wouldn’t be so fast assumed to be ‘just ptsd’). The few times I have had to explain to healthcare providers why I’m taking the medications I am and say ‘complex ptsd’, they ask why do you have ptsd? When I say years of childhood abuse, they usually go….’Oh’, because they most likely assumed I’d say something valiant like ‘I just got home from Iraq’. My therapist gets a lot right, or I wouldn’t still be going to them after a few years. But they also get a few things wrong. I get the idea of ‘good enough’, but sometimes it’s a fine line trying to decide which side of the line this situation is falling in. When something goes wrong, like recently, I revisit this topic of trying to find someone different. But who? Where? No. I am where I am. This HAS to be good enough. I have no other choice except…..maybe it’s just time to freakin give up.

    • December 8, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Your comment reflects exactly the truth: it’s incredible to think that Complex ptsd represents a high number of patients in psychology/psychiatry, but there is almost nobody to be specialized in it.

  • October 23, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Just read this article and this is exactly why I decided to specialize in treating trauma. So many of the clients that I have seen have never had their trauma addressed despite being in therapy for years!.


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