June 27, 2019 (Cleveland, OH) -- June is PTSD Awareness Month and June 27th is recognized nationally as PTSD Awareness Day.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? A psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.
According to Recovery Resources Clinical Director Jason Joyce, our agency implements best practices for trauma including trauma specific training for clinicians to assist clients with PTSD.
"We offer pharmacological management, case management, counseling, and peer support to assist with the symptoms of PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD are numerous and can include unwanted upsetting memories, nightmares, flashbacks, feeling isolated, and difficulty experiencing positive affect," said Joyce.
Recovery Resources therapeutic services and best practices help to assist with treating these symptoms and others.
"Mental disorders probably carry more stigma than any other illness. The stigma does not always stop with the person who is suffering. Family members often experience significant anxiety for their love ones. Effective treatment of PTSD not only helps the individual affected, but also the family unit that cares for them. Frequently people experiencing PTSD blame themselves for the traumatic event and symptoms. Treatment can help the individual and family gain empathy, insight and understanding into these issues," said Joyce.
Jacqui Santiago, MA, LPCC-S, ATR-BC is a clinician at Recovery Resources who works closely with clients who suffer from a post-traumatic stress disorder.
"My clinical training and background focuses specifically on Trauma Informed Care, PTSD, and complex trauma. I’m actually a certified trainer in Trauma Informed Care by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services," said Santiago.
According to Jacqui, some of Recovery Resources clinicians refer to Seeking Safety when treating clients, which is an evidence-based, present-focused counseling model to help people attain safety from trauma and/or substance abuse.
"We see some form of traumatic exposure, a lot in our AOD treatment groups, as well as in individual Behavioral Health Counseling services."
Recovery Resources clinicians also use Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) as another evidence-based treatment (EBT) with clients. It aims to address the needs of children and adolescents who struggle with PTSD or traumatic exposure, though there has been some research regarding its application in treating adults as well.
Jacqui says Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and expressive therapies such as Art Therapy are also effective EBT modalities in working with clients who have PTSD or complex trauma. Currently, the clinical treatment team has 3 art therapists, and use art therapy as an additional component to meeting with clients for individual behavioral health counseling.
"It is important to seek out help in addressing PTSD or complex trauma, which can manifest as long-term traumatic exposure, but does not necessarily meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. The very nature of the traumatic experience or exposure fundamentally changes an individual’s perception of not only themselves, but the world around them, and can contribute or exacerbate other mental health symptoms, substance use, and make it difficult for that individual to just feel safe and able to function in daily living," said Santiago.
Recovery Resources clients are not alone, in fact 3.6% of adult Americans -- about 5.2 million people -- suffer from PTSD during the course of a year, and an estimated 7.8 million Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.
"Treatment helps, people recover," said Joyce.
If you or someone you know is experiencing PTSD and is interested in receiving treatment, Recovery Resources offers Walk-In-Now (WIN) assessments. Assessments are available Monday-Friday at our Pearl Road and Chester Avenue locations. Clients must sign in between 8:30am and 2:00pm to be seen the same day. Please bring a photo ID, insurance card (if applicable) and proof of residency. It is helpful to speak to our intake department before coming to WIN so we can be sure to best meet your needs upon arrival. Please call 216-431-4131 to do this.