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Jun 09

Erin Recommends: Complex PTSD

Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide and Map for Recovering from Childhood Trauma

Pete Walker

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Erin says:

This book is for anyone who is struggling to come to terms with lifelong fears of emotional safety or chronic feelings of shame.

This book is written for a wide audience and is quite accessible.  In many ways it serves as a handbook for those suffering with chronic feelings of shame and emotional flashbacks.  Helping the reader gain insight into their experiences and emotional reactions, while at the same time recognizing that there is a time for insight and a time for immediate response/instructions.

The author includes his own experience with childhood trauma and C-PTSD.  He is not “othering” – he is including himself in the ongoing work of healing.

From the Publisher

An often echoed comment sounded like this: At last someone gets it. I can see now that I am not bad, defective or crazy…or alone! The causes of Cptsd range from severe neglect to monstrous abuse.

Many survivors grow up in houses that are not homes – in families that are as loveless as orphanages and sometimes as dangerous. If you felt unwanted, unliked, rejected, hated and/or despised for a lengthy portion of your childhood, trauma may be deeply engrained in your mind, soul and body. This book is a practical, user-friendly self-help guide to recovering from the lingering effects of childhood trauma, and to achieving a rich and fulfilling life. It is copiously illustrated with examples of my own and my clients’ journeys of recovering. This book is also for those who do not have Cptsd but want to understand and help a loved one who does.

This book also contains an overview of the tasks of recovering and a great many practical tools and techniques for recovering from childhood trauma. It extensively elaborates on all the recovery concepts explained on my website, and many more. However, unlike the articles on my website, it is oriented toward the layperson. As such, much of the psychological jargon and dense concentration of concepts in the website articles has been replaced with expanded and easier to follow explanations. Moreover, many principles that were only sketched out in the articles are explained in much greater detail. A great deal of new material is also explored.

Key concepts of the book include managing emotional flashbacks, understanding the four different types of trauma survivors, differentiating the outer critic from the inner critic, healing the abandonment depression that come from emotional abandonment and self-abandonment, self-reparenting and reparenting by committee, and deconstructing the hierarchy of self-injuring responses that childhood trauma forces survivors to adopt. The book also functions as a map to help you understand the somewhat linear progression of recovery, to help you identify what you have already accomplished, and to help you figure out what is best to work on and prioritize now. This in turn also serves to help you identify the signs of your recovery and to develop reasonable expectations about the rate of your recovery.

The author hopes this map will guide you to heal in a way that helps you to become an unflinching source of kindness and self-compassion for yourself, and that out of that journey you will find at least one other human being who will reciprocally love you well enough in that way.

The Author

Pete Walker, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family psychotherapist with degrees in Social Work and Counseling Psychology. He has been working as a counselor, lecturer, writer and group leader for thirty five years; and as a trainer, supervisor and consultant of other therapists for 20 years. Pete lives and luxuriates in family life with his wife and nine year old son in the San Francisco Bay Area. He enjoys his art work, gardening, hiking, and reading to his son. Pete also holds certificates in supervision from The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and from The Psychotherapy Institute in Berkeley. Pete is a “general practitioner” who specializes in helping adults recovering from growing up in traumatizing families, especially those whose repeated exposure to childhood abuse and/or neglect left them with symptoms of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder [Cptsd]. He has a great deal of recovery from his own Cptsd, and his professional approach is highly enriched by his own 40 year journey of recovering. Pete’s articles on a multimodal approach to treating Cptsd have been published in a number of therapy magazines and websites. His therapeutic approach is eclectic and Relational [Intersubjective]. He guides the therapeutic process with values that include empathy, vulnerability, authenticity and mutuality. Pete’s first book The Tao of Fully Feeling: Harvesting Forgiveness Out Of Blame, is also available through Amazon, has been acclaimed by many therapists, recovery websites and clients as a powerful, compassionate and pragmatic tool for guiding recovery.

About Erin Johnston

Erin is a psychotherapist based in Chicago Illinois.  She works with those who are tired of the emotional roller coaster that seems to take control of their lives and relationships. She doesn’t see her clients as broken but believes they are doing their best and wants to help clients develop and implement the skills to respond to the ups and downs of life with greater control and clarity.

…. Find out more about Erin here.