Caution: If you are involved in or thinking of becoming involved in an alternative therapy that promises to bring about a quick healing of your Complex PTSD through energy moving of the nontraditional sort, you may not want to read this post. What I say may be upsetting.

Most people would probably call me a “straight arrow.” The therapy mode I have chosen as a way to heal my C-PTSD is traditional and time-proven to do the job. My therapist has had thirty years of experience as a psychologist. She has facilitated the healing of a lot of people with histories of abuse. She has, in fact, devoted her life to doing this.

I’ve lived long enough, 73 years, and I’ve been down enough roads in this life to know when a person has a true passion for a cause. My therapist is passionate about her work! I can tell. I have my own passions in life, my own causes, and I can usually spot a passion in another person. My therapist doesn’t advertise this passion of hers; in fact, she is a very low-key therapist, not given to pushing herself into the spotlight. She quietly does her work and lives her life, and she touches the lives of those of us who are doing our own work.

I sense that my therapist’s heartfelt wish for me is that, with her help and support, I go as far as I can in freeing myself from the tangles of my C-PTSD and undoing much of the damage that was done to me by people in my past so that I can enjoy my freedom in the last few years of my life. That’s my goal, too.

Toward this goal, I am involved in traditional therapy—Ego State Therapy and, when I’m ready, EMDR. There is nothing about my chosen therapy mode that is mysterious or “out there.” Energy is involved because energy is what runs our brains. I’m striving to “revise” the neurological structures in my brain that contain the trauma energy. I’m, in a sense, rewiring my brain. I’ve already done this to the point of releasing myself from the daily misery of experiencing flashbacks and dissociative episodes at the drop of a hat. My work with my own ego states has done that. I have farther to go, but I’m hanging in there. Patience and perseverance are absolute necessities in this project, although there are times when I have little of either one.

Sure, sometimes I want to quit. I’ve had it! I want to walk away from the whole friggin’ mess! But I’ve been at this for so many years now, and I’ve walked away for various reasons, and I know that walking away is the wrong thing to do. The symptoms return sooner or later, and then I must deal with them again. But this time is different. This time I have a therapist who knows what she is doing, and I know she knows what she is doing, and this time I’m going to stay with the process as long as I physically and mentally can do that.

So what do I have to say about alternative therapies? Based on the experiences I have had, here is what I have to say:

  • If one person claims to have all the answers and claims to know what is best for you, BEWARE! Especially if you have just come out of a crisis situation such as an abusive marriage or any abusive relationship of any sort where you have been used, victimized, for another person’s selfish purposes. YOU are the person who knows what is best for YOURSELF, but sometimes you need time to figure that out. Take the time to be with yourself. Get help from somebody who will help YOU get to know YOURSELF.
  • If somebody claims to be able to heal you by transferring good energy to you, BE VERY SUSPICIOUS! Why? Because a person who can transfer good energy to you is also capable of transferring bad energy. I experienced the transfer of bad energy via a “healer,” and this was not an experience I want to repeat. The experience left me confused and depressed and contributed to my C-PTSD.
  • If somebody claims to be able to facilitate the moving of energy within you to bring about a “quick fix,” again—LOOK CRITICALLY AT THE PERSON OR ORGANIZATION. Remember: Moving energy is not something to be taken lightly! I was caught up in this about fifteen years ago. A “healer” I was seeing attended a workshop for one weekend, gave me instructions to massage an acupressure point each day in order to prepare myself for “reprogramming,” and by the end of the week, I was so depleted of energy that I could hardly walk. Then she could not do the “reprogramming” because she didn’t know how!! I managed to recuperate, but I didn’t go back to her! I lost a week of my life and the money I paid the therapist. I cannot recover either time or money, and I’m stuck with the memory and the pain of the experience.

I believe that each of us has within ourselves the source of our own happiness and love. If you have sustained the sort of damage that underlies the diagnosis of Complex PTSD, it’s going to take a lot of hard work on your part to find that wellspring of love, but it’s there. Every so often as I continue in traditional therapy, I touch on it within myself, and that touching reminds me it’s there. That is why I stay in therapy and continue to struggle. I’m getting closer to that wellspring.

If anyone offers you an easy path or an easy answer, do your research, talk to people involved if this “path” is a program or an alternative therapy program, and talk to people who left the path if you can find them. But LOOK AT THE PROGRAM CRITICALLY, ASK QUESTIONS, AND USE YOUR NOGGIN’. IF THE THERAPY APPEARS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, THEN IT JUST MAY BE ANOTHER DEAD END.

Traditional therapy, the ol’ tried and true, is my choice. Whatever your choice is, I wish you the best. Here is a Scottish blessing to take with you on your journey:

Big Sea, Little Boat

Dear God, be good to me;
The sea is so wide,
And my boat is so small.