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Leading Trauma Expert Offers Hope to Survivors of Complex Trauma in New Book

Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP, national clinical trauma consultant for Promises Treatment Centers and Elements Behavioral Health, releases her latest book titled It’s Not You, It’s What Happened to You: Complex Trauma and Treatment.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) Dec. 3, 2014 Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP, a licensed psychologist in independent practice in Washington DC and the national clinical trauma consultant for Promises Treatment Centers and Elements Behavioral Health, offers essential tools and reassures complex trauma survivors that there is hope in her new book It’s Not You, It’s What Happened to You: Complex Trauma and Treatment.

“The book is a brief, focused and easy-to-read explanation for trauma survivors of what they are going through, how all of this is connected and related to treatment, and what treatment options are available,” Dr. Courtois offers.

Dr. David Sack, CEO of Elements Behavioral Health, wrote the book’s foreword, saying, in part, “Dr. Courtois’ book never shies away from its unflinching portrait of how trauma can shape a person’s life, but her message is one of hope. While there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for the problems caused by traumatic events, people can free themselves emotionally from their powerful psychological consequences.”

“A lot of emotional turmoil comes from the fact that trauma survivors often blame themselves, especially children who’ve been traumatized or mistreated in any way and even more so if it’s repeated,” Dr. Courtois says. “They feel it’s about them, that they’re bad or they did something bad, that they should have known what to do to have it stop. It has a major impact on their identity formation, sense of self-worth, and ability to relate to and trust other people.”

In successive chapters, the book details what complex trauma is, how it develops, the ways in which it manifests, and how it can effectively be treated. While primarily written for individuals seeking information about trauma and how it may be affecting them or a loved one, clinicians will also find it a useful tool to help bolster their knowledge and educate their clients about trauma recovery.

“Complex trauma can be treated, but it has to be focused on,” says Dr. Courtois. “Understandably, people who have experienced trauma have a lot of pain and distress and one of the ways they might deal with it is to actively avoid it. Addictions can be a part of that process, a way of suppressing or avoiding something that is really upsetting.”

In fact, Dr. Courtois says, the majority of addicted individuals (up to 90 percent) have a history of some kind of interpersonal trauma, especially complex trauma.

In her book, Dr. Courtois also discusses in detail her sequenced, three-stage treatment model for working with addicted survivors of complex trauma. Her meta-model recognizes that complex trauma and addictions are often interrelated in powerful ways, and unless both issues are addressed simultaneously, the client may not recover from either. Dr. Courtois has implemented her multi-phasic approach to trauma-informed care at Promises Malibu, and is working with other Elements programs to implement her effective, research-based, trauma-informed process.

It’s Not You, It’s What Happened to You: Complex Trauma and Treatment is available through Amazon.com. A portion of the book proceeds will be donated to nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping trauma survivors.

About Dr. Courtois

Dr. Christine Courtois is an authority in the treatment of trauma, having worked in this area for over 35 years. She is a board certified counseling psychologist in independent practice in Washington DC where she also co-founded and co-directed an inpatient and day hospital trauma treatment program for 16 years. Dr. Courtois has organized the development of practice guidelines for the treatment of complex trauma for three professional organizations and has been appointed chair of the American Psychological Association’s Guideline Development Panel for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder to produce evidence-based practice guidelines set for release in 2015.

Dr. Courtois has written or co-edited eight books on the treatment of incest, child sexual abuse, complex traumatic stress disorders and other types of trauma, including Spiritually-Oriented Treatment for Trauma. She is past president of Division 56, Trauma Psychology, of the American Psychological Association and past founding co-editor of its journal, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy. As national clinical trauma consultant for Elements Behavioral Health, she is developing integrated trauma-informed addiction treatment programs to promote sustainable recovery.

About Elements Behavioral Health

Elements Behavioral Health is a family of behavioral health care programs that includes Promises Treatment Centers, The Ranch, The Recovery Place, Lucida Treatment Center, Clarity Way, Journey Healing Centers, The Sundance Center, the Sexual Recovery Institute, Right Step and COPAC. Elements offers comprehensive, innovative treatment for substance abuse, sexual addiction, trauma, eating disorders and other mental health disorders. We are committed to delivering clinically sophisticated treatment that promotes permanent lifestyle change, not only for the patient but for the entire family system. For more information about Elements Behavioral Health, visit www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com.

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