Archives for July 2017

New guidelines for the treatment of PTSD

New guidelines for the treatment of PTSD: A panel of experts from VA and the Department of Defense developed the latest guideline for managing PTSD and acute stress disorder.
Read more in the PTSD Monthly Update:
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/…/bulletins/1abae94

Free Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Training for Veterans in Los Angeles, CA.

Know of someone who may benefit from learning practical tools to successful manage symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety? Join other veterans for this free training on August 19th from 10 – 11:30 a.m.  Learn more: https://militarymbct.eventbrite.com

Islands of Peace

People with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often struggle with distressing thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, which seem to happen unexpectedly and may become so unmanageable that a person may not able to complete his or her scheduled tasks-for-the-day. Such distressing symptoms may respond to calming down the nervous system by finding and stepping into “islands of peace.” An island of peace is anywhere you can go within your physical locale that is quiet and still, or quieter and more still than your present surroundings. Great if you can find a nearby park; if you cannot, consider moving to an empty room or corner in the building where you can sit quietly for a couple of minutes–even sitting in your car and counting your breaths may be exactly what you need to generate a moment of inner-peace.

A moment of inner–peace that may lead to another…and, then, another. In a relatively short period of time, you may discover your distress slowly starting to shift. Perhaps you may feel a little more well; just enough to take another step toward balancing an unsettled mind and body. Where are your islands of peace?

Written by Tony Madril

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Shows Promise for Veterans with PTSD

A 2013 collaborative study conducted by the University of Michigan Health System and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System shows that veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who completed an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) group showed significant reduction in PTSD symptoms as compared to veterans who underwent behavioral health “treatment-as-normal.” In fact, 73 percent of veterans in the MBCT group showed significant improvement compared to 33 percent in the treatment-as-usual group. The study was published in Depression and Anxiety.

MBCT is a research-based type of psychotherapy that helps clients work through troublesome emotions using skills from mindfulness meditation and cognitive talk therapy to increase awareness of thoughts and emotions.

LEARN MORE:

–      Download the article on MBCT and Veterans with PTSDhttp://tonymadriltherapy.com/tonys-private-page

–      Attend a free, skills-based workshop on MBCT for Veterans: On August 19, 2017, I will be facilitating a free, skills-based MBCT workshop for Veterans and their families from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Los Angeles, CA. Save the date!

Trauma’s Silver Lining

Is there anything to gain from having experienced trauma? Is there any helpful way to relate to the emotional distress that lingers after the event?

The concept of “post-traumatic growth” offers hope! Post-traumatic growth is a relatively new concept in the field of behavioral health, which purports that distressing–even harmful–events can lead to positive outcomes; lending credibility to the phrase: “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” For example, a military veteran who lost a friend in battle demonstrates post-traumatic growth by becoming a peer counselor to other combat veterans.

The following are three questions you can ask yourself to determine whether the very thing you would have rather avoided has unexpectedly made you stronger and more resourceful:

  1. Has my past trauma changed my priorities about what’s important in life?
  2. Has my past trauma led to the creation of a new path for my life?
  3. Do I know better that I can handle difficult situations?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you may consider that, although you cannot change the past, you can use the present moment to consider how you are positively transforming the way you approach the challenges of life.

Written by Tony Madril