It’s always great to see new progress when it comes to helping those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One of the more recent developments comes from the Army. A new Post Traumatic Stress Disorder program at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany arose when they realized many soldiers needed therapy more than once or twice a week.
Beginning in March of 2009, the new PTSD program is an 8-week day treatment program referred to as “evolution” at the LRMC. The program includes a variety of evidence-based treatments and while art therapy is included in these treatments, there are many additional disciplines that play a role as well.
During the new PTSD program, patients participate in a variety of disciplines including:
- art therapy
- meditation classes
- substance abuse groups
- anger managment
- grief management
- tobacco cessation
- pain management
- cognitive processing therapy
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- and additional PTSD evidence-based protocols
Patients begin their days with a community meeting to discuss any feelings and issues that may arise. The main objective for the beginning stages of the PTSD program is to help the patients become more capable of calming themselves down, which is designed to be useful later in the program when the more intense therapy begins.
“I am a great believer in the kitchen sink, meaning I throw everything, including the kitchen sink, and something will stick,” said Dr. Daphne Brown, chief of the Division of Behavioral Health at LRMC. “And so we’ve come with all the evidence-based treatment for PTSD that we know about…We’ve taken everything that we can think of that will be of use in redirecting symptoms for these folks and put it into an eight-week program…We are building on the groundbreaking work that some of our peers and colleagues have done and just expanding it out,” said Brown.
“So they’re getting EMDR, they’re getting cognitive processing therapy, they’re getting individual therapy, they’re getting group therapy, they’re getting education, anger management, self-esteem, relationship issues, grief and loss, yoga, meditation exercise, skill building — a little bit of everything across the board,” said Brown. “Not everything’s going to resonate with everyone who comes through, but something’s going to resonate for everyone who comes through.”
“The core of the group and individual education is consistent for everyone,” said Brown. “But we recognize that every patient is different, and we have to tailor-make it to give an individualized treatment plan. We don’t keep people in pain management if they’re not in pain. We don’t give them tobacco cessation if they’re not smoking. So we do try and tailor as much of it as we can.”
Although the program is still relatively young, there have been early signs of success. Read more about this program.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
From the National Institute of Mental Health, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event.
When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in PTSD, this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.
PTSD Help & Information
You can also get more information by calling the PTSD Information Line at (802) 296-6300 or email email@example.com.