RELINK | E-Book An Introduction to Complex Trauma and its Effect on Addictions & Mental Health


“Having an addiction is like sitting under a large pile of rocks. The rocks, are shame. My shame. The first days when I learned about Complex Trauma, it was like someone taking one rock away at a time so a little bit of light could seep in, and I could begin to find myself.”

Complex Trauma is the underlying issue that links Addictions & Mental Health issues to real healing. Like connecting the pieces of a puzzle together, Tim Fletcher succinctly explains how unhealthy coping mechanisms used during times of feeling “unsafe or unloved” during childhood manifest in adulthood in at least 60 different ways, including addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling, this book is a must-read.

Forward by Cindy McKay


In the media, politicians and policing organizations all rave about the war on drugs and addictions. Governments vow getting tougher on crime policies with more severe penalties attached, all in the name of public safety. This may be a great way to win over the general population’s perception of safety but over the last several years, has had very little impact on the level of crime seen in cities everywhere. The fear continues. The insurmountable problem offers very little in the way of real solution.

The goal should be to get to the root cause of the violent behaviour in the criminals and to develop and understand why people feel compelled to commit crime and become addicted to substances. The politicians have to adopt the attitude that, just maybe, with the right supports in place, prevention of people crossing the line to criminal or risky behaviours can be the real change.

Tim Fletcher did a four-week series on Complex Trauma at Riverwood Community Church, of which we attend. The message delivered to the congregation hit home with everyone in the audience as we learned that to be human, often, sadly, means experiencing trauma in some way shape or form in our lifetime. Whether it be the abused child who grows up in an unhealthy home or one time traumatic events of car accidents, verbal, sexual, emotional or spiritual abuse, how we perceive these events can have long lasting effects on who we are and how we show up in the world.

As I sat in the audience, I realized that I have experienced several one-time traumas in my life. Although I feel I have coped well, I realized that these experiences shaped the decisions I have made throughout my life. Connecting the dots was emotional and it deepened my understanding of how much of our society is affected by Complex Trauma.