Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Clinical Services
The Clinical Program of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division is located at the James J Peters Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center. There we provide comprehensive evaluations and treatments for veteran trauma survivors. Our clinical services take place in a safe and confidential setting in which veterans can address the impact of traumatic events.
We begin with a comprehensive evaluation by an experienced trauma specialist who works with the veteran to gather and bring together information about the trauma and its impact on the veteran’s life and relationships. The evaluation results then are shared with the individual and a team of specialists. If treatment is indicated, with the veteran’s participation we design a treatment program tailored to his/her particular needs. We utilize effective, evidence- based treatments and offer veterans educational sessions about PTSD. Among our services are individual and group therapy, medication treatment, social services and providing information about various support services that are available in the community and thpe VAMC. Additionally, veterans have the opportunity to participate in couple’s therapy for a limited period when indicated.
Although nothing can undo the experience of a trauma, we provide effective treatments that can lead to recovery and enable the survivor to return to adaptive functioning.
PTSD Syndrome and Symptoms
PTSD is a syndrome or collection of symptoms that may develop after exposure to a traumatic or life-threatening event. The traumatic event may include:
- War or combat
- Physical assault
- Sexual abuse
- Unexpected loss of a loved one
- Natural disaster
The symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person. However, they often include:
- Painful emotions associated with the trauma when confronted with reminders of the event
- Avoidance of thoughts, conversations or activities associated with the trauma
- Experiencing intrusive thoughts, images or nightmares about the trauma
- Difficulty with sleep
- Being easily startled or feeling like you have to “be on your guard” in everyday situations
- Increased feelings of irritability or outbursts of anger
The goals of therapy that help treat PTSD symptoms are to:
- reduce or eliminate PTSD symptoms and associated anxiety and depression
- reduce social isolation, and increase occupational and interpersonal functioning
- increase feelings of safety, competency and self-efficacy
- improve quality of life