In late 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs in conjunction with the Department of Defense published an update to their practice guidelines for the management of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This two-part blog will highlight the major recommendations of the new practice guideline: part one will focus on recommendations for screening and assessment and part two will focus on treatment considerations. Although we hope that these blogs help to clarify the major elements of the new guideline, we strongly suggest that all clinicians review the guideline for themselves.
Blog posts with the tag "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder"
I recently received some feedback on training materials I put together, about how PTSD develops after a combat trauma. I had mentioned that classical conditioning explains how stimuli that occur in close proximity can become associated, resulting in conditioned responses. Of course, I mentioned Pavlov, because, dogs! Right? I might also have mentioned that our family dog salivates and does a little happy dance right on cue every morning when I grind the coffee, just before I walk over and scoop her food into the dish.
I like to be helpful. It’s one of the reasons I became a psychologist. You could say it’s my mission. Sometimes I get a phone call or an email from a distant relation, a friend, an acquaintance, or even a resourceful stranger who found my name on a website or blog. These people often have questions about psychotherapy.
Depledge & Bird (2009) described the “blue gym” as an approach to promote well-being through being active in water environments such as surfing, kayaking, swimming, or walking along the beach. Being active can be stimulated by being near natural water. Stronger communities, stress reduction, and increased physical activity are three benefits from regular contact with natural environments. The blue gym helps us to connect to each other and the value of nature and our aquatic environments. There are some recent reports looking at the positive impact of surfing on PTSD symptoms for Veterans.
If a client proclaimed during a session that drugs with abuse potential are beneficial in managing PTSD symptoms, most therapists would identify this as cause for concern. When drugs with abuse potential are used in response to PTSD symptoms, they generally maintain or exacerbate the condition. For example, the classic client with alcohol use disorder and PTSD drinks to avoid trauma-related thoughts and reduce heightened arousal symptoms (e.g., hypervigilance).