Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The foundation for our approach with treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD, lies within the foundations of our Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) oriented OPI Intensive, but our perspective reflects our overall conviction for all OPI Living Programs: We treat the whole person, not just the diagnosis.
Therefore, we create an individualized plan for a young adult based on therapeutic approaches and modalities that will yield the highest probability of success for that person.
- We try to understand how PTSD affects them and their perception of life.
- We then create strategies that allow them to move beyond their limitations so they can achieve their goals.
As with every experience and disorder there is a spectrum, and PTSD can be understood from multiple viewpoints.
PTSD is considered to be a response of the psyche to protect the individual from that which they intuit would cause total disorganization or breakdown in their ability to function. This powerful and reliable defense results in the mind’s complete disassociation from the experience of the trauma.
The difficulty arises if this disassociation mechanism becomes more generalized, as the individual seems to progressively become sensitized to stress. The frequency of dissociation may increase to a point where communicating with others becomes difficult as well as disconnecting them from their own feelings and, therefore, themselves.
We view PTSD using multiple treatment approaches: from the standpoint of cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and from a mindfulness-based approach. We do this in order to help with distress tolerance and emotion regulation as well as to help re-create new memories.
Pharmacologic as well as dynamic psychotherapy are utilized, and our special empowerment group provides a “safe space” for young adults who have experienced sexual and other forms of trauma. Treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) are also available.
As they move through the program, some young adults find they must begin to accept limitations in some areas while developing compensatory strategies in others. But it is always possible to create opportunities where one can succeed and move on to the next step because our experienced clinical team and personnel, dedicated Departments of Educational Services, Career and Volunteer Services, Extracurricular Activities, and Life Coaching along with our OPI Living facility location in Southern California make it possible for participants to explore a vast number of opportunities with which they can truly get excited about.
This allows us to help them expand their horizons, try new approaches and break the cycle of internal and external alienation and suffering from PTSD. This excitement is essential because it enables them to share a joyous part of themselves, which, when reflected back, helps create hope for the future.