top of page

Our understanding and perception of trauma have developed and changed greatly throughout history. Evolving from terms such as ‘shell-shock’ following World War I, to the inclusion of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the DSM-III in 1980 and to the advances made in understanding the biological mechanisms underlying trauma in more recent years (Friedman, Resick & Keane, 2007). In particular, Stephen Porges (2017) has introduced a paradigm shift in our understanding with his Polyvagal Theory, helping us to realise that the metabolic shutdown of the immobility response is a crucial factor in the experience of trauma alongside the well-known metabolic arousal of ‘fight-flight’. Bessel van der Kolk, Peter Levine, Pat Ogden, Babette Rothschild, Francine Shapiro and many others have contributed to understanding the biological mechanisms underlying trauma and developed powerful new ways of alleviating the impact of trauma, working from a body-up rather than a head-down approach. Our own journey within the field of trauma began with creating the Complex Trauma Therapists’ Network (CTTN), which was founded by Dzmitry Karpuk in 2012. Dzmitry and his colleagues encountered many clinicians with limited training in working with trauma from their formative years in University and other accredited courses. By founding CTTN, the aim was to fill this gap in education, create a supportive professional network and foster professional and personal development. Part of this work was hosting three conferences on perspectives on complex trauma and its treatment with the collaboration of the University of York. In 2020, the Complex Trauma Institute (CTI) was established to broaden the scope of training and support offered to mental health professionals, expand within research and allow an open platform in which like-minded professionals could discuss trauma openly. Within this context, we find ourselves publishing the first issue of ‘Perspectives on Complex Trauma’, the Journal of the Complex Trauma Institute. This first issue includes various articles, ranging from research papers to personal reflections, with views from authors based in the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada. The first section of this journal includes articles that will open contemporary dialogues in diverse fields of complex trauma. Our second section comprises articles where our authors give informative accounts of their experiences in working with diverse trauma-informed approaches

Perspectives on Trauma - Complete Vol. 1, Issue 1

    • Introducing the Journal of the Complex Trauma Institute: Opening Dialogues on Trauma The Complex Trauma Institute (CTI) Team

    Section I - Perspectives on trauma

    • What is complex trauma? Michael Guilding
    • Growing strong in limbo Sasha Nemeckova
    • We need to talk: differential understandings and responses to domestic abuse and violence Dermot Brady
    • Towards a systemic lens in trauma work Arlette Kavanagh & Auður Guðmundsdóttir
    • Socially excluded, disadvantaged, exposed to trauma: It is time to look beyond the label Dr Diane Harrison
    • The Survive/Thrive Spiral: A visual integration of Polyvagal Theory and Internal Family Systems Ruth Culver

    Section II - Complex trauma in practice

    • Reconstructing self and personhood when the assumptive world is shattered by trauma Karla Dolinsky
    • Holding on to hope - A practitioner’s experience of working with children who have experienced sexual abuse trauma. Sarah Palmer
    • When worlds collide - The process of embodied experience Roderick Aungier
    • Working with a five year old child’s nightmares: A short/brief case study Valerie Long
    • Working creatively to manage high levels of negative emotions Isa Julgalad
bottom of page