chapter  1
Complex trauma defi ned
Pages 15

This chapter explores how elements of trauma can be explained to the client using psychoeducation. Psychoeducation is a process of explaining a few essential aspects of traumatization, vulnerability, the distinction between then and now, control, and altered cognitions and will help clients better understand their own symptoms and reactions. Psychoeducation provides clients with insight into their dysregulation caused by arousal and distress and insight into which situations evoke that dysregulation. Metaphors are recommended because they rely on images and narrative to convey information. Metaphor can thus be the tool that provides psychoeducation regarding a specific symptom. The 'retraumatization triangle', derived directly from the classical conditioning model in behavioural therapy, can be used as an analysis model to provide insights into the aetiology of the symptoms, and as a point of intervention, a guideline to manage symptoms. It helps clients regain control over their own reactions. Many clients with complex trauma have severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.