CPTSD and catastrophizing

I’m working through some readings on CPTSD for myself and for the next iteration of the trauma counseling class I teach. And it has often occurred to me that the gold standard for therapy is often CBT. But CBT alone often isn’t sufficient for addressing trauma because thought distortions manifest for good reason. Maybe the world wasn’t safe for you growing up.

And now… if you’re emotionally triggered at work as a young adult or feeling taken advantage of you may not feel able to speak up for yourself because of this activation. But then feel trapped because of fear of getting fired and needing to go back to an abusive situation with parents, for example. These double binds occur whether “real” or perceived and often there isn’t enough safety established to ask for clarity or setting firm boundaries. Working is hard in early recovery especially. You may accept the lesser of two evils and feel you need a job in order to remain independent even if you’re being abused there. It’s a tough spot to be in and thinking differently is insufficient to address the bodily terror.

Bringing safety to the body is needed which looks different for everyone and necessitates leaving a toxic environment or feeling safe enough to set boundaries or ask for clarification.

Seemingly “normal” interactions can get so exhausting and sometimes yes. Recovering can feel like you’re on the brink of catastrophe. Hang in there.

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