Turn on the nightly news; odds are you will hear a story about a veteran that is struggling with Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD). According to a recent Rand Corporation study, a substantial number of the more than two million military service men and women returning from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan face behavioral health challenges. These “invisible wounds” show up as depression, anxiety, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and are being reported in staggering numbers. Veterans who suffer from this hidden damage face marital breakdown, job instability, substance abuse, domestic violence, anxiety and depression.
On a national level, both civilian and military mental health resources have insufficient capacity to provide the returning service men and women with the services that they need to treat their behavioral health challenges. In Sonoma County, health care for conditions such as TBI, PTSD and depression is limited primarily to medication. Many veterans frankly avoid these drug-centric regimens due to the undesirable side effects of dulled senses and weight gain.
Despite recent efforts to increase services provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), limited care is available at the community level. Community Based Organizations (CBO's) are where returning veterans, who are often averse to government bureaucracy and fear being stigmatized, look to receive services despite the fact that most CBO’s lack the specialized training for war-related trauma. Those services that are available are decentralized and there exists no process to systematically develop, track and evaluate individual program effectiveness.
The vision and passion of Sonoma Coast Trauma Treatment (SCTT) – a 501(c)(3) public charity – is to meet the urgent, critical need for comprehensive trauma treatment tailored to the needs of our veterans. We do this through a broad and unique spectrum of services and individually-customized treatment for veterans of the recent conflicts, as well as veterans of the Vietnam Era and Gulf War.
SCTT partners with both national and local organizations that currently provide services to veterans. Doing so allows SCTT to focus on trauma treatment – the strongest contribution we can make toward helping our nation’s veterans return to intimate family relationships and as productive members in our community.
SCTT’s protocols go beyond “one size fits all” trauma treatment model. Unlike the prevalent narrowly-focused emphasis on prescription medication and group therapy, the SCTT program quickly and confidentially evaluates and addresses the needs of the veteran and his or her family. Services are promptly delivered on a sliding payment schedule geared toward each veteran’s means supplemented by other funding, grants and donations.
Following is a partial list of modalities included in SCTT’s integrative approach:
- Trauma-Focused Psychotherapy
- Reichian-Myofascial Release Therapy (RMFR)*
- Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Equine Therapy
- Yoga Therapy
- Group Counseling:
- Anger Management
- Integrative Medicine:
- Nutritional Counseling
- Drug Dependence Tapering
- Reintegration Skills:
- Training and Resources
SCTT’s core trauma-focused psychotherapeutic protocols combine counseling with bodywork. With more than forty years of experience in trauma treatment, we know that resolving PTSD and TBI begins with the body, where the traumatic memories are stored.
Our unique trauma work releases the trapped energy caused by the trauma, while providing valuable perspective and support through counseling. Through our treatment protocols individuals can “stand down” and unwind from the intense arousal that results from their traumatic experiences.
With the return of our nation’s forces from the recent wars, we see an opening window of opportunity to reach damaged veterans and help them heal. We also see a renewed hope for change awakening in local Vietnam Era and Gulf War veterans. Please help us take our place as agents for change and healing for these men and women who have sacrificed so much for us and who deserve our best, most effective treatment for their “invisible wounds.” SCTT is committed to this mission.
SCTT has the knowledge, experience, tools and passion to provide truly innovative and effective treatment for veterans’ combat-related trauma, and we ask for your support.
* RMFR is a trademarked protocol of the Bernstein Institute for Trauma Treatment. For more information on RMFR as well as a thorough background on emotional trauma and its physical manifestations, please read, Trauma: Healing the Hidden Epidemic by Peter M. Bernstein, PhD, available on Amazon.