Affect Management (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
This group assists the development of emotional regulation and improved coping skills via increased ability to identify and effectively challenge problematic thinking patterns.
Therapeutic art directives and materials are provided to group members which directly engage their goals for treatment. Group members create their own projects according to the directive and with the mediums offered and include their values, goals, thoughts, and emotions. They are offered a time to share their projects and discuss the outcome which assists to integrate learning and facilitate expression.
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Participants learn to make meaningful behavioral changes in accordance with their values, despite the presence of problematic thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. The therapy aims to decrease the experiential avoidance that contributes to the destructive secondary effects of PTSD.
Communication/Conversation Skills Group
The Communication Skills group serves women by helping them increase their comfort, ability and confidence in expressing and tolerating feelings and emotional intimacy, asserting their needs effectively, setting healthy limits and boundaries, and hearing others as well. This group provides a forum where interpersonal skills can be developed, where women can increase their effectiveness regarding interactions with others and serves to enhance their relationship skills.
Emotion Regulation (Dialectical Behavior Therapy-DBT)
This group teaches skills in emotion regulation, distress tolerance, the development of mindful awareness, and enhancing interpersonal effectiveness. These strategies are useful for anyone who struggles to manage anger, sadness, shame, fear, or any of the emotions that come up in day-to-day life.
This group helps to identify and consider changing ways of coping that may be unhealthy or maladaptive. Using a motivational interviewing approach, facilitators encourage group members to discuss struggles they have had and weigh the pros and cons of coping in the ways they have been, given their treatment goals. With the help of facilitators and peers, residents develop change plans for behaviors they would like to reduce or eliminate and work on implementing these throughout treatment.
Panic & Anxiety
This group focuses on the panic and anxiety symptoms often seen in those suffering from PTSD. This group teaches cognitive behavioral techniques to better manage and tolerate anxiety symptoms.
The main focus of this group is to provide an arena where interpersonal skills can be developed and practiced, such as establishing (and tolerating) emotional intimacy, increasing one’s ability to both receive and provide authentic interpersonal feedback, and to learn to receive and provide interpersonal support. This group also provides the opportunity for women to discuss concerns or issues that impact their ability to fully participate in the program or any other concerns they have regarding their interactions with others.
Group members explore their roles as members of a family, the impact of personal functioning on relationships, and the challenge of change within the family. This is an excellent group in which to address communication issues. (Gender-specific issues include the fact that women are often the custodial parents of children, when the generational impact of PTSD very acute.)
This group seeks to establish a foundation for all therapeutic work by helping patients set goals for achieving abstinence from substances, eliminating self-harm behaviors, acquiring trustworthy relationships, and gaining control over overwhelming symptoms. (The Seeking Safety Protocol is one of the only empirically-based treatments initially designed specifically for women and is geared towards those who struggle with both PTSD and substance use issues.)
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Known for advancing cutting-edge treatments for PTSD, our program was the first to implement Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for women participating in residential treatment for PTSD. This empirically-validated therapy has been shown to reduce PTSD symptoms and help survivors recover from the painful aftermath of trauma. This therapy assists participants to (a) access memories of the event(s), (b) identify and experience painful emotions until they have been extinguished, and (c) identify and challenge problematic beliefs that impede recovery. Participants are provided with a great deal of emotional support from both peers and staff as they work through their trauma. The fact that the majority of the women we see have been alone with their pain is an issue that is targeted in the program, and participants are encouraged to seek the assistance of both staff and fellow patients. The philosophy of the program, reinforced by the various groups, is that one needs others to recover. Recommendations regarding participation in this group are taken on a case by case basis and will depend on an individual’s readiness as determined by the treatment team and in collaboration with the individual.
Skills Training in Affective & Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR)
The STAIR Program is a cognitive-behavioral therapy group, which focuses very directly on teaching participants skills that will increase their ability to manage negative emotions and improve their relationship functioning. STAIR has been shown to improve PTSD symptoms, emotion regulation and interpersonal functioning in multiple populations in randomized controlled trials in the community.