This Handbook Includes A Resource Page Link to Access Recovery Meditation Clips (6) and Handout

This Handbook Includes A Resource Page Link to Access Recovery Meditation Clips (6) and Handout

Table of Contents


Basic Understanding of Complex PTSD             7

What is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?                                              7

Causes of Complex PTSD                                                                         9

Gene-Environment Interactions and Complex Trauma                                       10

Common C-PTSD Symptoms in Children and Adolescents                               10

Childhood Trauma, Brain Development and Emotional Regulation                  12

Attachment Patterns, Trauma and Self-Regulation                                             13

Compulsion to Repeat and Traumatic Memories                                                19

Common C-PTSD Symptoms in Adults                                                                 21

Complex PTSD, The Vagus Nerve and Healing                                                    22

The 12 Cranial Nerves and their Functions                                                           24

The Polyvagal Theory and Complex Trauma                                                        27

Dissociation and Dorsal Vagal State                                                                     33

Repairing the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) – From Dorsal to Ventral.   34

The Basic Exercise                                                                                                   35

Four Subconscious Personality Defences In Complex PTSD                            37

SECTION 2               

Brain Regions Implicated in C-PTSD                                                           43

Regions of the Brain Involved in Complex PTSD Symptomatology                          44

The Anterior Cingulate Cortex / Gyrus (ACC/ACG)                                                       45

The Amygdala                                                                                                                        48

Speaking the Healing Language of the Amygdala                                                        51

The Medial-Prefrontal Cortex (mPFC)                                                                               52

When the Boss is Offsite                                                                                                      54

The Hippocampus                                                                                                                 56

The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis                                                         61

– Abnormal Functions of The HPA Axis In Complex Trauma                          61

– HPA Axis Malfunction and Impairment of Neurogenesis                             64

– Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)                                                                 64

– The Catecholamines (Dopamines, Norepinephrine, Epinephrine)            66

– Serotonin                                                                                                                 72

– The Gut, Complex Trauma and Serotonin                                                        73

– Altered HPA Axis Function, Inflammation, and Complex Trauma               75

– Complex Trauma and Amino Acids Dysregulation (Glutamate & Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid – GABA; Neuropeptide Y – NPY)                                          77

– Complex Trauma and Epigenetics                                                                     82

Table: Neurobiological Regions affected in Complex PTSD                                        84


The A.S.I.E.C.C. Framework for Healing Complex PTSD                        87

Phase 1: Stabilisation (Attachment Healing & Somatic Healing)                      89

Phase 2: Metabolisation (Intrapersonal Healing & Emotional Healing)       98

i. The Therapeutic Alliance Phase                                                                        100

ii. The Uncovering Phase                                                                                        102

iii. The Grieving Phase                                                                                             108

– Three Ego Defences that Hinder Adequate Grief                             108

Phase 3 – Reconnection (Community and Connections Healing)                           112

– Managing CPTSD Flashbacks 117

– Identifying CPTSD Flashback Triggers                                                             121

– Managing Criticisms to Avoid Being Triggered                                             123

Additional Resources Link  (recovery meditation clips & handout)                          130                                                              

References                                                                                                                              131

Brilliant delivery of the course in an easy to understand format. The workshop helped me to get a better understanding of the effect trauma can have on the brain and how to treat this. Amanda P. Trainee Counsellor (9/2/22)

Very, very good, the lecturer’s delivery was wonderful, simultaneously calm and easy yet also highly informed and informative. Penelope J., Counsellor (9/2/22)

There was so much useful information here and I’m glad I took the course. Would easily recommend to professionals and survivors alike as it is accessible but still pushes knowledge and understanding. Very clear and engaging, good pace and good sense of humour. Michelle J., Trainee Counsellor (21/1/22)

It was such an amazing course and I feel I’ve learnt a lot. I hope to apply it to my own counselling work as a therapist. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for passing on your wonderful wisdom. Claire B. Therapist 13/11/21 

Very good course content, delivered beautifully by Wale, whose voice had an immediate calming effect and broke down any perceived barriers between trainer and trainee. Fascinating insight into how the brain’s response to trauma impacts on the body. Emma C. Counsellor (13/11/21)

The C-PTSD course clarified why I have been feeling the way I do.  It helped me make sense of physical symptoms and emotional overwhelm through recognising C-PTSD as an issue with the brain and that my emotional and physical recovery & healing cannot be forced. I have gained awareness to be patient and compassionate with myself in taking time to recover. I appreciated being able to ask questions that were relevant to me and to hear responses from other attendees.  It was valuable to learn about the impact of C-PTSD on their lives and their physical experiences too.  Wendy F. Coach & Author (2/11/21)

Invaluable experience and knowledge sharing. Rob P., RNLD (16/9/21)

Overall feedback is the training was excellent. I particularly liked that it wasn’t purely ‘academic’ and ‘theoretical’, it felt holistic and therefore highly understandable and applicable. Wale was approachable, warm, knowledgeable, boundaries and interesting. I sometimes find myself zoning out during training, and yet the whole of the day I felt interested and alert. Many thanks. Jayne M. Psychotherapist/EFT Practitioner (16/9/21)

Content, presentation and attitude of the facilitator couldn’t have been better. Victoria W., Forensic Mental Health Practitioner (11/9/21)

I thought it was an excellent and well-taught course. I learned a huge amount of new information as well as consolidating my existing knowledge, and I was left with lots of new avenues to research and follow up. Emily B., Student and Trainee Psychotherapist (18/4/21 with Steve Lovatt)

An excellent course for people looking for personal development or career development. Very in depth and extensive understandings on the history, make up, neuroscience and treatment of C-PTSD. As well as many examples for further reading opportunities made available. Laura M. Trainee Therapist (18/4/21 with Steve Lovatt)

Excellent course. It was in depth but easy enough to follow. Presented by someone who really knows the subject matter. I have gone on to book on two more courses after this. Thank you. Louise B., Mental Health Support Worker (5/2/21)

The day was amazing and so educational. Sally L. (5/2/21)

Many thanks, the course was extremely informative and thorough. Jenifer S. (5/2/21)

The training was brilliant, very detailed and informative. I’ve already booked onto some more course. Louise B., Counsellor (5/2/21)

Great webinar and good communication. I will come back for more webinars and CPD courses. Gabi M., Clinical Hypnotherapist and Registered Nurse (31/1/21)


Download, Hardcopy


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Healing Complex PTSD: A Recovery Handbook for Complex Trauma Survivors, Helpers & Therapists”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked