chapter  6
21 Pages

—Stage Two: Challenging Patterns and Expanding Realities

Clients who have experienced complex trauma present to helping professionals in different ways. Some clients are overt about traumatic events that they believe have impacted their lives before coming for help and some present with psychological aches and pains, discovering much later in the treatment process that their diffi - culties make sense given the context of their traumatic relationships. Some clients come as individuals and others as couples or families. Some present initially with great motivation and compliance and others resist help and fend off the practitioner. Some clients come to outpatient treatment following discharge from recovery programs, eating disorder units, psychiatric hospitals, wilderness experiences, individual, couple, or family therapy experiences, and some have never walked into a treatment facility before. Regardless of where they start, Stage Two occurs when the context for change has been set, goals are agreed upon, and acknowledgment has occurred so that the natural cycle of evolving is supported and the change process has already begun. Stage Two includes the ongoing work of psychotherapy.