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PTSD Treatment for Your Patients

Signs of having PTSD might include intrusive thoughts, avoidance, or dissociation. Treatment of PTSD can include exposure therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and various levels of care for each case.

Traumatic events are devastating and, unfortunately, fairly common. The National Center for PTSD estimates that 6% of the U.S. population will have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lifetime. With such prevalence, it is likely you have patients living with PTSD.

Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center (Pathlight) aims to help by providing individualized treatment and programming across all levels of care. Learn how we can work together to help your patients find lasting recovery.

Knowing when a patient needs treatment

As you work with your patients, you may notice signs or symptoms of PTSD. If you see multiple symptoms that are making daily life challenging for your patient, it may be time to reach out.

Intrusive thoughts or memories

Intrusive thoughts relating to the traumatic event or flashbacks of the event that become persistent are a cause for concern. Severe emotional reactions may accompany the memory or be the trigger that brings the memory back in focus.

Avoidance

Avoidance comes in several forms but involves avoiding memories or discussion of the event. It can also involve avoiding people, places, or things that remind a person of the traumatic event.

Changes in thinking and emotions

Notable symptoms include a diminished view of the future, feeling detached from friends and family, lack of interest in previous interests, disassociation, depersonalization, feeling frightened, and having overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame.

“Oppositional” behavior

More commonly seen in children with PTSD, patients experience angry outbursts, get irritated easily, and become very upset when memories of the event are triggered. They may also relive or reenact their trauma while playing. They can seem fidgety or restless, which may be confused with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Dissociation or numbness

To avoid their trauma, patients may overly focus on video games or online activities, avoid places or people associated with the event, deny that anything happened, and/or become listless, helpless, and withdrawn.

Helping patients choose a treatment center

You want the right match for your patients. Make a complicated decision easier by knowing what to look for in a treatment center.

Make sure centers use evidence-based treatment

Treatment programs should include therapeutic interventions found to be most helpful for people recovering after a trauma. Our providers utilize the following evidence-based treatments.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

CPT is a foundational, first-line, evidence-based psychotherapy used to treat the symptoms of PTSD. It is one of the main forms of individual therapy used in Pathlight’s Residential and Partial Hospitalization programs.

CPT helps patients learn how to challenge or modify unhelpful beliefs related to their specific trauma by allowing them to become aware of the thoughts and emotions associated with the event. Once a patient can identify unhelpful thinking, they can develop the skills needed to adjust to daily life.

Exposure Therapy

Trauma survivors are often upset by memories, flashbacks, and nightmares that stem from their trauma, and they try to avoid anything reminiscent of the traumatic event. When working with individuals affected by traumatic stress, exposure work is often used wherein a patient exposes themselves to remembering, re-envisioning, reimagining, and retelling the story of the event in a safe space.

While exposure work may sound stressful, Pathlight supports this work in a careful and nurturing way. Patients work with their trusted therapist to plan the exposure work in a way that feels manageable, constantly revising and reexamining the treatment plans as they go.

Check available levels of care

Patients are eligible to seek trauma treatment at Pathlight if they need more intensive support than is offered in an individual, outpatient setting. We offer several levels of care to meet unique needs, and patients can move through the levels of care.

Residential Program (RES)

At this highest level of care, patients live on-site and attend therapy groups while being supported through tasks to improve functioning and reduce the severity of symptoms.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

PHP offers patients a full day of treatment, 7 days per week, that emphasizes the development of lifelong recovery skills in a safe, structured, and supportive environment.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

This level of care empowers patients to take ownership of their recovery and become active participants in their lives. IOP is a flexible treatment program that allows patients to work, go to school, or care for children during the day and sleep at home at night.

Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (VIOP)

Our Virtual IOP offers the same level of trusted care available at our in-person treatment centers. With low therapist-to-patient ratios, these programs deliver a virtual treatment option designed to facilitate recovery from the comfort of home.

Child and Adolescent Programming

We have treatment plans geared specifically for children and adolescents, ages 8-17, who struggle with trauma disorders. Our RES, PHP, IOP, and VIOP programs are available to guide parents and their children.

Look for centers that treat the whole person

A good trauma treatment center does not just focus on one aspect of wellness but rather on the mind, body, and spirit of the whole person. At Pathlight, one of the primary goals is learning how to regulate emotions safely and effectively. To support our patients in this process, our therapists work to address overall wellness through movement, art, and yoga therapy.

Additionally, during intake, our master’s-level trained clinical assessment team works with your patient to determine the ideal level of care so that we can customize treatment to meet their needs.

Following treatment, we offer ongoing support. Alumni events keep patients focused on trauma recovery and connected to a larger community of people pursuing similar goals. Our guided path to wellness, from admission through treatment and discharge, provides all the tools and support needed to navigate this journey.

Treating PTSD at Pathlight

Pathlight holds hope for your patients during their recovery journey, and we recognize the bravery and strength it takes to reach out for treatment. No matter how complex an illness is, we can help your patients learn new skills to help manage their thoughts, emotions, and physical reactions.

Trauma-sensitive environment

At Pathlight, one of our overarching priorities is to create a trauma-sensitive treatment environment and approach. Our physical space, group guidelines, policies and procedures, interactions, and treatment approaches are designed to promote a culture of safety, empowerment, and healing.

Should your patient choose to seek treatment with us, they will learn new ways of living and gain greater flexibility, adaptability, and openness.

Specialty trauma track

To meet the tremendous need for PTSD treatment, Pathlight created a specialty trauma track. Through a variety of evidence-based psychotherapies and modalities, we effectively treat each patient as a whole and unique person, with extensive experience in treating complex co-occurring disorders.

Our treatment programs use evidence-based therapeutic approaches, including

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
  • Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT)

Treatment outcomes

For our patients, we find that most symptom reduction and relief occur within the first 11 days. As patients continue their psychotherapeutic work and learn new skills, the remaining levels of distress continue to drop.

Most of our patients notice a significant increase in the following areas.

  • Feeling more accomplished
  • Identifying an increased quality in relationships
  • Finding more meaning in life
  • Feeling more positive emotions

It is never too late to seek treatment after a trauma, and we are here for you and your patients. There is always hope and an outstretched hand ready to hold your patients up as they begin their healing journey.

If Pathlight sounds like a good fit for your patient, please have them call (866) 692-2179 for a free, confidential consultation with a master’s-level clinician or to learn more about treatment options.