Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an often misunderstood mental health condition that has the potential to cause significant and dramatic disruptions to the lives of those who struggle with it. As the name implies, this condition occurs in the aftermath of a traumatic event, a category that can include physical abuse, sexual assault, serious accidents, life-threatening illnesses, natural disasters, military combat, and similarly troubling occurrences. Feelings of sadness, fear, and distress are natural responses to such incidents, but when these emotions become so severe that they begin to damage a person’s ability to maintain interpersonal relationships, meet work-related responsibilities, and otherwise function in a healthy and productive manner on a day-to-day basis, posttraumatic stress disorder may be present.
At Bowling Green, we understand the many ways that PTSD can impact a person’s life, especially when this condition leads to or exacerbates a chemical dependency problem. Individuals who suffer from co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders face a complex set of challenges that require a clinically sophisticated treatment approach. With more than 30 years of experience providing premier addiction and dual diagnosis treatment, Bowling Green is uniquely prepared to provide life-changing solutions to those who are dealing with substance abuse and the devastating effects of unresolved trauma.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Knowing that a loved one is in pain can be one of life’s most difficult experiences. When this pain is related to posttraumatic stress disorder, the difficulties can be compounded by feelings of confusion and helplessness. Individuals who are suffering from PTSD need to get effective professional help, as this is not a problem that can be overcome by effort alone. However, that does not mean that loved ones have no role to play in a person’s recovery from PTSD. The following are some important actions that friends and family members can take to help someone who is struggling with PTSD:
- Learn about the signs, symptoms, causes, and complications that are associated with PTSD. As you increase your understanding of this disorder, you will have a greater appreciation for the challenges that your loved one is facing and will be better equipped to deal with this matter in a more empathetic and informed manner.
- Research treatment options that have helped others who struggled with PTSD and identify programs that may be able to provide the type and level of care that your loved one needs.
- Let your loved one know that you are there, that you care, and that you are committed to remaining a supportive presence in his or her life. Do not pressure your loved one to talk about the trauma or the other problems that he or she may be having, but be willing to listen with an open mind and a compassionate heart if he or she wants to speak about it.
- Volunteer to help with phone calls, transportation, and other tasks related to getting your loved one the help that he or she needs. For example, your willingness to accompany him or her to an appointment or to visit a program can be immensely helpful.
- If appropriate, talk to experts at your loved one’s treatment program to learn how you can continue to be a source of support both during and after treatment. Many programs will offer family therapy, family workshops, or similar opportunities to stay involved. Also, friends and family members can be essential sources of support as an individual transitions into the post-treatment phase of his or her recovery.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do for a loved one who is struggling with PTSD is to be a dedicated source of informed and open-minded support. Understand your loved one’s needs to the best of your ability, be cognizant of the challenges that he or she is dealing with, and treat him or her with respect and compassion.
Why Consider Treatment at Life Healing Center
When left untreated, posttraumatic stress disorder can overwhelm virtually all aspects of a person’s life. The psychological pain of unresolved trauma can impact a person’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, and can undermine his or her ability to function in a healthy and productive manner on a day-to-day basis. Individuals who develop PTSD may re-experience the trauma via nightmares or flashbacks. They may develop an aversion to being in public places, driving, or engaging in other activities that may trigger unpleasant memories. Their ability to accept and demonstrate love, compassion, and trust can be damaged. The may struggle with anxiety, paranoia, suicidal ideation, self-harm, and substance abuse. It is difficult to overstate the degree to which PTSD can negatively impact a person’s health, happiness, productivity, and sense of self. For too many people, struggling with PTSD is a crushing experience that ends in tragedy. At Bowling Green, we offer a much more promising alternative and we provide the tools that will allow people to rebuild healthy lives in the aftermath of trauma.
Types of Treatment Offered at Bowling Green
For over 30 years, Bowling Green has been a provider of superior chemical dependency treatment for men and women, aged 18 and older. Set in the scenic and historic countryside of the Brandywine River Valley in Pennsylvania, our center offers a truly unique atmosphere that is tranquil and extremely conducive to the healing and recovery processes. The peaceful environment in which we supply care pairs well with the evidence-based practices we use, as our center has helped countless adults successfully combat addictions to substances, as well as a myriad of dual diagnoses. Our commitment to providing exemplary care has not changed since we first opened our doors and our staff of qualified professionals all share the same vision of assisting residents in reaching each one of their treatment goals to the fullest. At Bowling Green, we believe that chemical dependency is very treatable and that, through the use of treatment methods and modalities that have proven effectiveness, any and all who come to us for care will leave our center will newfound optimism for the future.
A large part of what makes treatment at Bowling Green so transformative for residents is that our staff puts forth the effort to make the treatment process one that is highly individualized to meet the needs, both large and small, of those who chose to heal and recover with us. Comprised of physician assistants, psychiatrists, nurses, counselors, case managers, and clinical technicians, Bowling Green’s staff is able to offer comprehensive treatment that embodies what it means to provide clinical excellence through every phase of treatment. When a man or woman elects to come to Bowling Green, he or she will complete a thorough assessment so as to determine where treatment needs lay. Once this assessment has been completed, our staff will work in collaboration with new residents to determine which of the following treatment methods, of which are based on person-centered, CBT, and psychoeducational approaches to care, will be incorporated into each resident’s plan for treatment:
Medically monitored detoxification: When prospective residents come to us for treatment dependent upon substances, detox services may be incorporated into their treatment plans if it is deemed appropriate. Under the supervision of medical professionals, residents will be given the care they need in order to go through the withdrawal process safely and with minimal discomfort. Detox occurs prior to engaging in our other programming options and is not a stand-alone service. While receiving detox services, residents will be able to partake in medication management services with our psychiatrist, individual therapy sessions, as-needed family therapy sessions, and experiential therapy sessions. Lastly, group therapy opportunities are available while residents go through detox and may include the following groups:
- Impulse Control
- Introduction to 12-Steps
- Recovery Stress
- Recovering Emotions
- Stink Think
- Positive Psychology
- Healthy Living
- Medical Compliance
- Communication Skills
- Handling Guilt
- Cycles of Behavior
- Anger Management
- Overcoming Depression
- Sleep Strategies
- Daily Living
Medication management: Those battling a mental health condition, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, at the same time that they are dealing with an addiction to substances will require certain psychotropic medications in order to alleviate the distressing symptoms they are experiencing. When this is the case, residents are afforded the opportunity to meet with our esteemed psychiatrists once per week to have their medication needs addressed. Any medications prescribed are monitored by our staff and adjustments can be made during the course of treatment if it appears to be necessary to the resident’s overall treatment and wellbeing.
Individual therapy: Led by qualified counselors, individual therapy sessions take place once per week and allow residents to process their progress, setbacks, emotions, and other concerns with one-on-one attention. Additional sessions can be added to a resident’s treatment plan if they are needed and are excellent forums for residents to establish a therapeutic relationship that can aid in the healing process from PTSD.
Weekly family program: Occurring each Sunday, Bowling Green’s weekly family program is available to loved ones and family members of our residents in order to offer them support and education while the person they care about receives treatment with us. This program includes a one-hour psychoeducational presentation that is then followed by a family session led by one of our counselors. Additionally, Al Anon comes onsite during family sessions so as to provide loved ones and family members with additional support, information, and resources.
Additional family therapy: In addition to the family therapy sessions offered within the weekly family program, residents can request or a recommendation can be made for including additional family therapy sessions in a resident’s treatment plan. These sessions are available on an as-needed basis and will provide our residents and their primary support systems with the attention they need to heal as a unit.
Group therapy: Held throughout the day, 7 days per week, group therapy is an important element of the treatment offered at Bowling Green. Types of groups offered include process groups, 12-step groups, gender groups, psychoeducational groups, community meetings, and daily wrap-up meetings. Some groups offered in the dual diagnosis program are held outside when the weather permits and may include the following:
- Focused Thinking
- Recovery Ain’t Easy
- Recovering Emotions
- Cycles of Behavior and Self-Responsibility
- Overcoming the Past
- Anger Management
- Overcoming Depression
- Overcoming Guilt
- Impulse Control
- Clean Thinking
- Social Skills Development
- Relapse Prevention
Experiential therapy: Taking place during psychoeducational groups, experiential therapies occur weekly and can include the following:
- Music therapy
- Daily recreation time
Depending on the needs of the resident, some of these treatment methods will occur more or less frequently during the course of treatment. Furthermore, additional treatment options may be added if it is apparent that they will be beneficial to the resident’s care.
Continuing Care and Discharge Planning
Once our male residents complete our dual diagnosis residential programming, they have the option or may be referred to our partial hospitalization program. This innovative programming option is for men, aged 18 and older, and houses residents in Bowling Green’s offsite housing. The partial hospitalization program is to help residents continue the positive progress they have made and allows them to solidify the skills learned while in residential care.
For residents who have completed programming with us and are ready to return to their respective homes, we, at Bowling Green, work tirelessly to ensure that this transition is as smooth as possible. Our knowledgeable and helpful case managers work with residents to determine what services and resources will be needed upon leaving our center. These same staff members are also able to arrange transportation and schedule any necessary follow-up appointments.
If you or someone you love is in need of high quality care that can set the stage for a bright and hopeful future, your search is over. At Bowling Green, we want to help you or your loved one achieve the healing and recovery needed to achieve sobriety and manage the symptoms of mental health conditions, such as posttraumatic stress disorder.