Treatments for Complex Trauma

The first thing to understand about complex trauma is that it is not currently (April 2023) a diagnosis. When the term complex trauma is used there is no internationally recognised definition for this. In contrast if one was to say Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) there would be a greater recognition of what this is. Similarly if one was to use the term Complex PTSD there would be a recognition of this across the world.

If we assume that the term  complex trauma is likely to include people with PTSD or CPTSD there are lots of treatment options. Often the complex part of complex trauma is comorbidity, or in other words more than one problem. Sometimes these problems may be mental health like depression as well as PTSD, practical issues like housing and finances, or social and relationship problems.

Complex trauma is sometimes described in the following manner: A type of psychological injury that occurs as a result of prolonged and repeated exposure to traumatic events. This can include experiences such as childhood abuse, domestic violence, war, or other situations where an individual’s physical or emotional safety is threatened over a long period of time. Complex trauma can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health, leading to a range of symptoms and difficulties in daily life. 

These descriptions are also the descriptions that apply for people who are suffering from PTSD and CPTSD.


Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help individuals recover from the effects of PTSD and regain a sense of control over their lives.

One of the most effective treatments for PTSD  and CPTSD  is trauma-focused therapy. This type of therapy is designed to help individuals process and integrate traumatic experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Trauma-focused therapy typically involves approaching the symptoms of the trauma in some way.

 This approach can help individuals to identify and challenge negative thought patterns, develop coping skills to manage difficult emotions, and work through the memories and feelings associated with their traumatic experiences.

Another important aspect of treatment, and life in general is self-care. This can include activities such as exercise, relaxation techniques, and spending time with supportive friends and family members. It can also involve making positive changes in one’s daily routine, such as setting aside time for hobbies or pursuing new interests. By prioritizing self-care, individuals can build resilience and increase their ability to cope with the challenges of recovering from traumatic experiences.


If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of trauma, regardless of whether they think it is complex or not,  it’s important to seek help from a qualified mental health professional. At the Centre for Clinical Psychology in Melbourne, our team of experienced psychologists can provide trauma-focused therapy and other evidence-based treatments to support your recovery. We spend time understanding the complexities of your situation and can develop an individualized plan to assist you.  We are committed to providing compassionate and personalized care to each of our clients, and we believe that everyone has the potential to heal and grow from even the most challenging experiences. To book an appointment at the Centre for Clinical Psychology, please call us on 03 9077 0122 or visit our website at We look forward to supporting you on your journey to recovery from trauma.