Article: A Developmental Approach to Understanding Complex PTSD

This is a fantastic article by Marylene Cloitre, PhD of the New York University Child Study Center from the the Trauma Stress Points site.  I really enjoyed this writing and found myself and the understanding I have developed about Complex PTSD reflected in it.  My study of Ericksonian development theory has led me to look at childhood and its foundation for development of emotional, relational, self-regulatory and self-image imprints into adulthood.  This paper helps explain the impact of early recurrent traumas and chronic stress on psychological development.

 “There are over two decades of research indicating that childhood maltreatment (including sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse/neglect) undermines the development of  these critical skills. Compared to children who have not experienced maltreatment, abused children are reported to have diminished emotional self-awareness, difficulty modulating excitement in emotionally arousing situations, and difficulty recovering from episodes of upset or  mood lability. Under circumstances of conflict, maltreated children are likely to respond with reactive aggression or to isolate themselves and  withdraw. They are less likely to initiate social engagement with adults and with their peers. They  expect little help under stressful circumstances, and tend to interpret the ambiguous or even supportive efforts of others as hostile.”



2 thoughts on “Article: A Developmental Approach to Understanding Complex PTSD

  1. whoah this blog is magnificent i really like studying your posts. Keep up the great paintings! You already know, many individuals are looking round for this information, you could help them greatly.

  2. Hi,

    Just wanted to acknowledge this great website you have created. I noticed that the most recent additions are back in 2016 and wondered if you had a newer website somewhere else?

    I came across your site, and the fact you have written several books, while doing some research of my own as Im considering setting up a blog and doing some writing myself on this very same subject, mainly as a result, like yourself, of having experienced a less than desirable upbringing.

    I am interested in the fact that you have made the links between developmental trauma, adverse childhood experiences and cptsd. I dont think that most adults suffering with cptsd actually know they have it, and certainly cant/dont make the links to their ‘upbringing’. Which in my opinion, in turn, leaves them suffering endlessly despite medical and therapeutic interventions which i believe many find of little value as it just doesnt quite hit ‘the spot’.

    It would very much like to hear from you if you are interested in getting in touch.

    Best wishes,

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