Military, First Responders, Veterans, and PTSD

Military, First Responders, Veterans, and PTSD

PTSD treatment for military, first responders and veterans

Aurora Recovery Centre assists veterans, military, first responders, and people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addictions with personalized, evidence-based treatment plans in our residential center and outpatient office. Our residential programs include 24-7 medical detox, individual and group therapy, ARC Fit, and adjunctive therapies that help heal our members. Our standard programs usually take 30, 40, and 60 days. Each plan comes with a recovery warranty in case of relapse. Our facility is equipped with 24-7 nursing staff, doctors, therapists, and counsellors to ensure our members always have support.

Who We Help

  • Members of the Department of National Defense (DND)
  • RCMP and police forces
  • Firefighters
  • Paramedics/EMT
  • Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)
  • Canadian Border Services or corrections staff
  • Retired (non-active members) of any of the above
  • People who have suffered childhood trauma
  • People who have suffered trauma

What is EMDR and Who Can Benefit

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro as a treatment for trauma. Her research and practice of EMDR won her the International Sigmund Freud Award for distinguished contribution to psychotherapy by the city of Vienna and the World Council, the Distinguished Scientific Achievement in Psychology Award by the California Psychology Council, and the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice in Trauma Psychology by the American Psychological Association Trauma Division.

EMDR is a non-invasive, evidence-based method of psychotherapy that uses adaptive information to process memories in the brain. It is primarily used for someone that has undergone trauma and has been found to be effective for recovery in:

  • Drug and alcohol addiction
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Personality disorders

How EDMR Works For PTSD

Phase 1: History and Treatment Plan

In the first few sessions, our counsellors and therapists discuss why our members came to therapy, symptoms, and the behaviours stemming from the symptoms of their problems.

Phase 2: Preparation

This phase is usually two to four sessions. Our therapist takes this time to get to know the member and build a relationship of trust. Basic techniques are taught at this time.

Phase 3: Assessment

In this phase, our therapist assesses specific thought patterns to be reprocessed. The member places statements in relation to past painful events. They are asked to identify where they feel the physical sensation that goes with the negative thought. Our therapist then works with the client to reprocess these feelings through eye movements, taps, or tones.

Phase 4: Desensitization

This phase focuses on the client’s disturbing emotions as related to the Subjective Unit of Disturbance Scale.

Phase 5: Installation

This phase concentrates on increasing the positive thought that the member identifies to replace the negative belief.

Phase 6: Body Scan

Once the positive thought/belief has been strengthened, our therapist will see if there is any tension left in the body. EMDR evaluations look for physical responses to unresolved issues.

Phase 8: Reevaluation

At the beginning of all subsequent sessions, the therapist continues to evaluate the result by checking bodily tension.

Phase 7: Closure

The closure is done at the end of every session and should leave the client feeling better than when the session began. After working through all six previous phases, the client will have learned several self-calming techniques and will have documented the effectiveness of them for further reference.

The Benefits of EDMR for Treating PTSD

The benefit of EDMR in addiction recovery is that it has been proven to reprocess thoughts and behaviour patterns that lead to substance abuse and trauma. Addiction does not occur overnight, and we can’t think that there is a “magic pill” for recovery. Using EMDR in conjunction with other therapies, meetings, and twelve-step programs helps to reprocess thought patterns, therefore reducing the risk of relapse.

Family Programming

Our Family Programming starts while members are in treatment. Every Sunday, families visit their loved ones and have a group session. Programming continues for family members after a member completes their program too.

Our family program consists of:

  • 18 hours of programming
  • One-on-one counselling session
  • Addresses issues that families face with someone’s addiction
  • Available to families who have someone at our center/about to leave