Being Well Podcast: Recovering from Complex PTSD with Elizabeth Ferreira
June 20, 2022

Today on the Being Well podcast, we’re joined by Elizabeth Ferreira to discuss Complex PTSD. Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) is the result of the slow accumulation of many small traumatic experiences over time. Resource scarcity, physical or emotional abuse, inconsistent or neglectful parenting, and needing to manage your parents’ emotions as a child can all contribute to the myriad symptoms of CPTSD, which include low self-esteem, hyperarousal, feelings of guilt or shame, and a chronically dysregulated nervous system.

About our Guest: Elizabeth is a recent graduate of the Somatic Psychology program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and is currently earning hours toward her MFT license. She just launched a new podcast, My Therapist’s a Witch, that brings together the best lessons from psychology with holistic approaches to mental health and healing. She also creates content on YouTube and Instagram focused on CPTSD, PMDD, and becoming a more whole version of who you are.

On our most popular Being Well episode to date, Forrest and I explored the details of CPTSD with Pete Walker, and on today’s episode, Forrest is joined by his partner Elizabeth Ferreira to discuss the topic through a more personal lens. Elizabeth shares her CPTSD origin story, what CPTSD feels like, and how to create a compassionate environment with or without a therapist so you can safely process grief, experience out repressed emotions, and learn to express your needs.

Key Topics:

  • 0:00: Introduction
  • 2:15: Elizabeth’s story
  • 5:20: Trauma in the broader family system
  • 8:40: A “normal” story
  • 11:50: Loneliness, and the parts of us we leave behind
  • 15:00: Repressed emotions
  • 17:10: Adverse childhood experiences
  • 20:35: Stepping out of adverse environments
  • 25:15: Trauma work as grief work
  • 29:10: Symptoms of Complex PTSD
  • 34:50: How do you need to be comforted?
  • 37:30: Creating the sense of safety
  • 40:30: Somatic interventions
  • 45:30: Being witnessed
  • 47:10: Claiming your needs
  • 50:10: Facing the dreaded experience
  • 53:50: Accuracy vs. sensitivity
  • 57:05: Hidden parts
  • 1:00:00: Start by joining
  • 1:04:20: Recap

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Join Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson every week on the Being Well Podcast for lively and thought-provoking conversation and practical tips for being happier, building inner strengths, and getting the most out of life.

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