Upon admission to our program, each woman receives an assessment to formulate her treatment plan. Given that many women will be admitted with a chemical dependence diagnosis along with a co-occurring disorder, we pay attention to the historical timeline over which the co-occurring diagnosis was made. Women veterans who need to go through detox are referred out before acceptance into the program.
The initial assessment includes a psychosocial evaluation as well as mental health screening, which are sensitive to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (MST/PTSS/PTSD), Chronic Pain Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Eating Disorders, Nutrition and Spirituality. While recognizing the tendency of over medication of veterans, we are mindful of those who might have been unnecessarily medicated and those in need of medication. Approaching each woman’s treatment plan from a systemic perspective, we also evaluate her support system, then plan and intervene accordingly.
Research illustrates the benefits of physical exercise in combatting depression, anxiety, (PTSD) and almost any other mental/emotional disorder. We will offer a variety of activities including CrossFit, yoga, equine therapy and gardening. A formidable obstacle to healing is “isolation.” We choose exercise options which can be continued by the individual in her community when she returns home. Each woman veteran is exposed to the activities in a loving and nurturing manner. We also believe in the neuropsychological trauma done by trauma and will employ procedures (EMDR) that facilitates a healing brain. Physical therapy will be available for those in need.
Individual, group and family therapy are provided for each woman using a Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) protocol. CPT has been shown to be effective in treating PTSD. Mindfulness and meditation will also be part of the days schedule coupled with an understanding of Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT). All treatments offered will be empirically supported modalities matched to everyone’s needs. Ultimately, the goal is to integrate and transform those detached, dissociated thoughts and feelings, manifested in self destructive, pathogenic actions into life enhancing adaptive behaviors. Ideally, each woman will be able to tell her full and complete story in her own way.
It is difficult to sort out any of the four domains of healing since they all so significantly affect each other. As referenced above, CPT is ideally suited as a clinical intervention for both the cognitive and emotional domains. Nevertheless, perhaps the biggest diagnostic challenges in mental health are identifying those disorders, which have a biochemical imbalance, determining if medication is needed and then providing the correct medication and dose. Research illustrates that a chemical imbalance does not always require medication. Oftentimes, the appropriate non-medicinal therapeutic intervention(s) will have a corrective effect on one’s brain chemistry. Furthermore, so many of the women veterans we will be treating will bring with them a history of substance abuse, which complicates the diagnostic picture. Many of the women were misdiagnosed and medicated by an unsuspecting clinician unaware of the substance abuse history. As a treatment team, we bring decades of assessment experience and can “tease out” those disorders which call for medication to facilitate affective stabilization.
Spiritual counseling is offered as a primary and essential component to help individuals deal with issues of faith, forgiveness and reconciliation. Part each day will be devoted to Biblical Study, prayer and meditation. While we are a Christ Centered organization and treatment program, we accept women of any faith and extend the utmost consideration for their belief system. Each client will be counseled by our spiritual care clinicians. Also, each client is introduced to the support group of their choice with focus on Celebrate Recovery as a community support system. We believe personal faith is essential to heal to healing. Each woman will also attend church or her respective house of worship.