Aspire: PTSD Program

In conjunction with the Twelve Oaks Treatment Program for Addiction, patients can also participate in the following specialty services when appropriate:
The ASPIRE recovery experience at Twelve Oaks treats those individuals who are seeking relief from the dual impact of substance abuse and traumatic experiences. The specialized track for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) offers psycho education and intensive psychotherapy to those who desire and hope for a more balanced and stable life. In conjunction with the Twelve Oaks Treatment Program for Addiction, treatment for traumatic stress disorders enables the individual to look at the impact of symptoms associated with trauma experiences that are part of the addiction cycle.

The primary modality of treatment in the ASPIRE recovery experience is group treatment with adjunctive individual therapy. Therapy is focused on the impact that traumatic experiences have on: physical, cognitive, psychological, spiritual, and emotional aspects of daily living. Psycho education groups will explore topics including the impact of abuse including biological and psychological effects, values clarification, decision making, anger management, emotional expression, self-awareness, spiritual issues, support systems, behavioral responses, self-harm, personal power, addiction and trauma, and responsibility.

Guidelines for treating trauma, both civilian and military, from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) and the Veteran’s Administration (VA) are integrated into the core therapeutic components of the treatment process.

Psychotherapy groups may include:

  • Psycho-dynamically oriented therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Writing/journaling
  • Psychodrama

Other treatments focused on resolution of trauma effects.

Individual therapy may include:

  • Prolonged exposure therapy
  • Cognitive processing therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Relaxation training
  • Eye movement desensitization

Individuals in any part of ASPIRE will also be participating in the substance abuse program at Twelve Oaks. The two components provide integrated treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring PTSD.

Substance Abuse Program Services:

  • Comprehensive substance abuse/diagnosis assessment
  • Detoxification/medical stabilization
  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Lifeskills groups
  • Relapse prevention
  • AA/NA groups
  • Social rehabilitation
  • Psycho-education groups related to addiction

As a part of the intake for ASPIRE, individual will complete the Posttraumatic Stress Checklist (PCL-M) for the military and the PCL-C for civilians. For diagnostic considerations the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) will be administered if needed. A more trauma focused history will be completed at that time. Individuals will be assigned to either CHOICES or OPERATION WELL-BEING groups and individual therapy depending on the results of the intake process.

Components of ASPIRE focus on two groups: CHOICES & OPERATION WELL-BEING

CHOICES
A group developed to focus on the individual who has chosen to use substances to decrease the impact of the traumatic experiences on their current life. Substance abuse or dependence plays a critical part of the clinical picture for a significant number of survivors of abuse. Treatment must deal with the addiction or abuse in order for treatment of the abuse to be effective. In the same vein, treating only addiction for these individuals is likely to be ineffective as well. It is the integrated treatment that offers the most effective outcomes for both. The disease model of addiction at Twelve Oaks and the associated 12-step practices is synergistic to treatment for trauma. By dealing with the core issues, our interventions for both trauma and substance abuse can be more effective.

How an individual responds to a traumatic event involves many aspects of the individual including:

  • Personal and cultural characteristics
  • The individual’s perceptions, abilities, and skills that are available for coping with the stressors and the distress
  • The frequency, durations and intensity of the traumatic event
  • The supportive environments at the time of the trauma as well as the expectations of those in the environment

The philosophy of CHOICES is that individuals will have a more effective treatment outcome if they work through the memories of the abuse within a safe and structured environment that is timed effectively with substance abuse treatment. The emphasis is on balancing the treatment between increasing skills, working on current behaviors, such as addictions, and processing the exposure and processing of past abuse.

OPERATION WELL-BEING
Combat exposes the service member to war-zone related stressors, including violence, injury, guilt and death that impact their psychological functioning. It is important to acknowledge that symptoms associated with combat, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) overlap with other issues. One of the most common dual impacts of combat is PTSD and substance abuse. For the most effective and efficient treatment, the program must be integrative and comprehensive for simultaneous treatment.
For those returning from deployments with physical wounds, the impairment is treated, but the psychological injuries are often not easily recognized. Military leaders are acknowledging that combat can damage mental, emotional and cognitive aspects of an individual’s wellness, especially with the frequent and increasing duration of deployments. The consequences, if left untreated, will be severe and pervasive.

Psychological injury may stem from physical injury, pain, distress, fear, rage, and hopelessness resulting in multiphasic (immediate, delayed and chronic phases) traumatic stress responses. Operation Well-Being is based on a multiphasic structure and addresses these symptoms.

While instinct is essential during combat, it may prevent a return to baseline responses creating anxiety, isolation and withdrawal. Self-injury or suicidal behaviors are used to seek relief.

Working through and healing from traumatic experiences can have positive long term effects, but it is difficult work. The goal of OPERATION WELL-BEING is to increase awareness of strengths, change priorities, and increase confidence in being able to cope with circumstances in the present.

Program Services

  • Detoxification Services and Medical Stabilization
  • In-Patient Rehabilitation
  • Partial Hospitalization
  • Intensive Outpatient Program
  • Adult Programs
  • Specialty PTSD Tract
  • Aftercare Program
  • Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment
  • Individualized Treatment Plans
  • Social Rehabilitation – Learning New and Better Socialization

Skills and Breaking Old Habits

  • Life Skills Groups
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Medical/Health Related Issues to Addiction
  • AA/NA Groups
  • Coin Out Ceremony
  • Emergency Consultation Services
  • Free, Confidential Assessments
  • 24-Hour Crisis Line

Warning Sign of Chemical Dependency

As with any disease, the earlier the signs or chemical dependency are detected, the greater the chance of successful treatment. Warning signs of chemical dependency often include:

  • Rapid, unexplained changes in mood
  • Changes in job or school performance
  • Unexplained changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Dishonesty or stealing
  • Loss of old friends; new friends known to drink or use drugs
  • Neglect of personal appearance
  • Suicidal ideations or threats
  • Increased drinking or use of other drugs
  • Blackout periods, or temporary memory loss
  • Taking more medications than prescribed
  • Hostility and lack of cooperativeness
  • Withdrawal, isolation, depression, or fatigue
  • Drinking or using drugs alone or in isolation
  • Increased tolerance to alcohol and other drugs
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