After patients establish a solid foundation of understanding, stability, and self-regulation skills, they can decide—mindful of the emotional and psychological work involved—whether or not to engage in stage two. Some people only require stage one, while others need to continue working through the next stages.
The second stage of recovery and treatment is often referred to as “remembrance and mourning” or trauma-processing.
In this stage, patients review and discuss memories to lessen the memories’ emotional intensity. As part of this process, they work through grief about unwanted experiences and the negative effects these experiences have had on their life.
At the same time, they mourn the good experiences they did not have, but that all children deserve. They find more adaptive ways of thinking about themselves, other people, and the world.
The third stage of recovery focuses on reconnecting with people, meaningful activities, and other aspects of life. Not everyone needs or wants this stage of treatment, though many find it helpful. This is stage of treatment often involves weekly therapy sessions.
What Is DBT?
Another therapy that has been proven to help individuals who struggle with trauma and related disorders is called dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT.
DBT is a form of cognitive behavior therapy—skills-based therapies that teach people to connect their actions and thoughts.
DBT emphasizes the development of four skill sets: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.
Mindfulness practice involves increasing self-awareness by learning to focus on one’s experience of the present moment.
A combination of cognitive behavioral techniques and mindfulness principles are employed to help people gain better control over their behaviors and to allow for a different way of managing intense feelings.
There are several forms of DBT customized to treat trauma disorders, especially PTSD. For example, DBT+prolonged exposure (DBT+PE) helps patients stop avoidance and instead confront trauma-related thoughts and situations using therapeutic strategies to effectively process the trauma.
McLean recognizes the importance of skills-based therapies like DBT in teaching patients to learn to manage their symptoms throughout their lives. DBT is incorporated into patient care plans when appropriate and customized to meet the needs of the individual.
Specialized Services for First Responders
For frontline workers, stress springs from the nature of the job itself. Many emergency responders and frontline workers feel compelled to respond to the call to action at the expense of the self.
Emergency responders often have trouble striking a healthy balance between pressure-filled jobs and their personal lives, resulting in difficulties at home and work. They often think it is a sign of weakness if they are unable to manage the effects of their job and are reluctant to seek help when they need it.
McLean Hospital understands that police, active military, and other first responders and frontline workers endure unique on-duty and personal stresses and also face many obstacles in seeking help.
Our LEADER (Law Enforcement, Active Duty, Emergency Responder) program is proud to provide specialized mental health and addiction services, designed specifically for men and women in uniform.