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New Breed Of Counselors Deals With Veterans' Ptsd


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#1 Tbird

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 07:52 AM

New Breed Of Counselors Deals With Veterans' PTSD
By RINKER BUCK - The Hartford Courant - 2/23/09 - Link To Story

Jay White spent his first day in Baghdad in 2003 camping beside a dead U.S. Army soldier in a body bag.

In a very real sense, this would determine his career, an increasingly important one as the United States sends more troops to Afghanistan.

Trained as a mental health specialist at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, White has experienced the horrors of war during two tours in Iraq. This has prepared him to counsel soldiers who can't forget, or cope with, their own horrific experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq.

White, 37, of Cromwell, is an outreach counselor at the Hartford Vet Center in Rocky Hill. He is a member of a new breed of counselors hired by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in an attempt to avoid the Vietnam-era mistake of ignoring post-traumatic stress disorder and other readjustment problems experienced by soldiers returning from war zones. He was hired in 2004, one of about 50 counselors recruited because they had served in Iraq.

In addition to counseling sessions, White has inspired the formation of a unique group of veterans. These men tour the state addressing police departments, college administrators and social service agencies on the hazards of post-traumatic stress disorder, and what can happen when society fails to recognize the symptoms of soldiers returning from combat with hair-trigger emotions and an inability to cope with the everyday challenges of civilian life.

But even as he maintained a busy schedule of counseling veterans in one-on-one sessions in his office, White became aware that many soldiers were falling through the cracks, reluctant, for various reasons, to seek traditional counseling.

So he developed a less traditional course of treatment.

"We recognized that these guys were returning from Iraq and drinking heavily together because they wanted to talk about their experiences over there," White said. "But all of this was happening in bars in downtown Hartford. So, if they felt comfortable together, and this was where the group was already happening, why not replicate that in an environment where they were sober?"

White began scheduling group outings with veterans that included trips to baseball games, kayaking weekends and rounds of golf, encouraging veterans to bring their friends and break down the barriers to counseling.

Read More - Link To Story

#2 purple

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 08:37 AM

Just like I said in the other post....this is great news for male combat vets and I'm happy for them.

Now, what about women vets with MST PTSD? Once again the VA forgets about us...like we don't exist...where are our special counselors??? It's been 15 years and I've yet to see any special female MST PTSD counselor's for women vets. It's a damn shame.

#3 Tbird

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 08:44 AM

this will be a big help i believe to all combat veterans male or female. i've seen some really good counselors who specialize in ptsd, i've met several women who were there for mst, they've all been pretty happy with their counselor, finding group therapy though was difficult for most of them, they didn't fit into the combat groups, and thank goodness at that time there were hardly enough mst women to form a group, let alone out of that small number even less wanted to go to group and none wanted to go to a co-ed group.

#4 purple

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 08:53 AM

Precisely why the VA needs to out-source all MST PTSD care for women vets until they (the VA) is willing and able to handle to our needs....whether it be a group of 2 or a group of 20. The group size shouldn't matter. That's the excuse I'm getting from Dayton now...that there isn't enough women for a "good size" MST PTSD group. OMG....you would think that's a good thing!!!

They really don't get it.

#5 Brian

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 06:53 AM

Just like I said in the other post....this is great news for male combat vets and I'm happy for them.

Now, what about women vets with MST PTSD? Once again the VA forgets about us...like we don't exist...where are our special counselors??? It's been 15 years and I've yet to see any special female MST PTSD counselor's for women vets. It's a damn shame.



#6 goldilocks

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:22 PM

http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/

I am a counselor at a Vet Center in the Northeast. We specialize in PTSD counseling and generally offer more services than our counterparts in other areas of the US. We provide individual, group, couples, family, bereavment, benefits, and MST, TBI and substance abuse counseling. We do outreach and participate in pre and post deployment mental health screenings. We are part of the VA but run seperately and most of us are veterans. These places have been around since 1979!!!! Let's thank the Viet Nam Vets for starting such a wonderful resource. All combat veterans are entitiled to services as well as their family members.

Any further questions just ask!! :(

#7 ReconRon

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 05:21 PM

http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/

I am a counselor at a Vet Center in the Northeast. We specialize in PTSD counseling and generally offer more services than our counterparts in other areas of the US. We provide individual, group, couples, family, bereavment, benefits, and MST, TBI and substance abuse counseling. We do outreach and participate in pre and post deployment mental health screenings. We are part of the VA but run seperately and most of us are veterans. These places have been around since 1979!!!! Let's thank the Viet Nam Vets for starting such a wonderful resource. All combat veterans are entitiled to services as well as their family members.

Any further questions just ask!! :D



#8 hedgey

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 12:46 PM

http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/

I am a counselor at a Vet Center in the Northeast. We specialize in PTSD counseling and generally offer more services than our counterparts in other areas of the US. We provide individual, group, couples, family, bereavment, benefits, and MST, TBI and substance abuse counseling. We do outreach and participate in pre and post deployment mental health screenings. We are part of the VA but run seperately and most of us are veterans. These places have been around since 1979!!!! Let's thank the Viet Nam Vets for starting such a wonderful resource. All combat veterans are entitiled to services as well as their family members.

Any further questions just ask!! :huh:


Goldilocks, where are you located? I'm in a state where the only Vet Center within a 100 miles is severely understaffed and has no one with training for MST. I was told they couldn't help me and they referred me to the VAMC 75 miles away. :D

#9 aza

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 11:10 AM

I've been going to an EFT counselor and it is the first thing that is helping in the last 35 years. And it's something you learn to do for yourself, so you always have it and don't have to keep going to someone. There is a video around called "6 days at the VA" that demonstrates it or another one is Operation: Emotional Freedom. What I liked about the Operation: Emotional Freedom is that they work with the spouses and kids, too, who are traumatized themselves by the veteran's PTSD stuff. Living with us vets with PTSD deserves a medal...
EFT looks stupid and airy-fairy, but actually works. You can feel dumb doing it and it still works. The medical establishment is finally beginning to realize that PTSD is not so much a mental illness, but more of a Central Nervous System Disorder, and needs to be treated as such. There is a physical change in the brain when exposed to overwhelming events. (Peter Levine or Babette Rothchild's work) Talk and drugs don't work. Most psychiatrists can be replaced with a pharmacist. The drug companies are heavily involved in med schools, so doctors are indoctrinated to look to medication for solutions. Drugs mask or blunt the symptoms and have their use temporarily, but they don't deal with the source, which is the CNS's dysfunctional response to external/internal stimuli.

Over the years I've talked to all kinds of doctors, PhDs, MA's, many modalities of therapy, and taken all kinds of psych meds since 1975 and I'm still f**ked up and having nightmares, hypervigilant, anger, anxiety, etc. EFT is starting to change all that. I can still remember events, but they don't have the charge on them anymore. And it's not the "cruel & unusual punishment" that exposure therapy is (that put me the hospital with a suicide attempt after one session). It works like acupuncture does... "rewiring" the nervous system... getting the brain back in balance and responding properly...

Anyway, my 2 cents...


~HM3aza