Complex PTSD Recovery Tools

Having survived severe Developmental Trauma, lived with Complex PTSD my entire life, and studied the neurobiology of fear for about 6 years, I’ve developed a strong set of recovery tools. These are selected for their positive neurophysiological effect and support for a healthy nervous system led by safety and connection instead of driven by threat detection and protection. 

Neuroaffective Relational Model (NARM) therapy: a modality designed specifically for recovery from Complex PTSD. Unlike previous therapists, my NARM practitioner actually helps me regulate. This is a resilience and strengths-based process, what a person with Developmental Trauma needs. 

Craniosacral therapy helps my body release tension and better regulate.

Alexander Technique classes twice a week, plus daily practice helps me cultivate a sense of ease and safety. These simple-but-profound exercises are a mainstay of my recovery.

Laughter Yoga online gives me fun, safe, engaging social interaction that is beneficial to my whole body and ability to connect, feel safe, and have fun. 

Therapeutic riding / co-regulation with horse 3 times a week helps build healthy routines, creates the incentive to move, helps me downregulate, builds strength, flexibility, and coordination.

Forest Walking, which helps regulate the nervous system. I often notice how trees keep growing no matter what disasters have befallen them. 

HeartMath 3x daily coherence/HRV practice helps me build and cultivate neural pathways to “reduce and avoid stress while experiencing increased peace, satisfaction, and enjoyment.”

Authentic Movement helps me feel safely connected and present in my body while in motion. 

Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) gives my nervous system the opportunity to downregulate or recalculate environmental threat level. 

Medical Marijuana helps alleviate symptoms and assist with processing trauma. Studies show “cannabis can reduce activity in the amygdala – a part of the brain associated with fear responses to threats…[and] cannabinoids could play a role in extinguishing traumatic memories.” Cannabis’s entheogenic properties can help process trauma. 

Mindfulness, which, according to Dr. Dan Siegal at UCLA School of Medicine, helps integrate the brain.

Interpersonal Neurobiology, the knowledge of which helps me understand the biological imperative to connect at the heart level and learn how to achieve it. This “interdisciplinary approach invites all branches of science and other ways of knowing to come together and find the common principles from within their often disparate approaches to understanding human experience.”

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