Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) group therapy

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) group therapy for veterans who have served in the United States military

             The main target of this session is the introduction. The leader will go first in this process of introduction to the group. The introduction must be detailed, and important details such as profession and experience must be included so that the veterans may have confidence in the leader of the group. In this session, the leader should strive to create rapport with the group members such that the following sessions will not need many ice-breaking activities so that the members may be able to feel free to participate in the meeting. As Corey (2011) asserts, the therapist who is competent in his or her duty must be open to the people being served and also be an empathetic participant in their issues of life such that they feel appreciated (Fredman 2019). Having in mind that the participants are the center of the healing process, the leader must ensure that he or she is girded with knowledge on how to involve the members.

After the leader has taken enough time to do the introduction to the members, they should avail an opportunity for the members also to do their part of the induction. In this session, the leader should not stress much on minor details of the veterans since they may feel disrespected or fear since their profession entails lots of secret-keeping(Fredman 2019). The leader should also ensure that these members are treated with the utmost respect such that they may be able to cooperate with the group leader.

The introductory session demands that the leader ensures that a form of trust is created between them and the members.  Clart (2017) asserts that the leader ought to apply the value of constancy. This comes as a result of having clear self-knowledge and intent. Moreover, the leader ought to give utmost attention to the views and interests of the members such that they will have a mutual relationship. This will also make them own these sessions and adhere to the requirements of the leader since they will be loyal. The leader should also read out and explain the rules and regulations that will govern the group during the sessions. However, the leader should be sensitive in terms of language use and how they address the veterans.

After the introduction, the leader will explain the aim of the group and the central concept of PTSD. At this point, the leader should briefly describe the signs and symptoms of this mental condition. This should facilitate personal introspection to assist in the process of filling in the Veteran’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) group therapy initial assessment questionnaire. The leader should give clear instructions on how to fill in the questionnaire so that each one of them can fill it correctly. After this exercise, the leader should dismiss the group. 

Session 2

In the second session, the leader should initiate the session with a recap of the activities that were carried out in the first session. For instance, the definition of PTSD should be revised. However, in this session, the leader should go deeper into the meaning and the symptoms that accompany the condition(Signs and Symptoms of PTSD., n.d.). The leader should be sure to avoid technical language in the definitions and explanations about this mental condition. For instance, PTSD should be defined as the cluster of symptoms that are found and persist among people who have been involved in severely traumatic situations (Signs and Symptoms of PTSD., n.d.). In some circumstances, people may not have been directly involved in the traumatic case but might have witnessed such an event occurring. Memories of trauma cause anxiety and makes the person experience again the traumatic feelings as if they were being repeated in the present.

The leader should also explain the symptoms that are associated with this condition in clarity and depth such that the members should be able to relate such an explanation to their own lives.  The symptoms associated with the condition entail; nightmares, panic attacks, lower verbal memory capacity, delays in cognition, and also eating disorders (Backos, & Mazzeo, 2017). Drug abuse might also be a consequence of the traumatic state since the affected people may feel that they need self-medication so that they will not experience the negative symptoms of the condition.  However, it should be clarified that not every person who is suffering from this mental condition should experience all the signs explained, but the signs vary from person to person. For a person to be diagnosed with PTSD, they must have experienced these symptoms for at least one month.

After the explanation is done, the leader should give an opportunity for some question and answer sessions where members are supposed to raise their concerns regarding the meetings and about the therapy. Additionally, the members should be allowed to briefly share their experiences and their current feeling about the situation. After this, the leader should dismiss the group and encourage them to attend the next session.

References

Backos, A., & Mazzeo, C. (2017). Group therapy and PTSD: Acceptance and commitment art therapy groups with Vietnam veterans with PTSD. P. Howie, Art therapy with military populations: History, innovation, and applications, 165-176.

Clart. D. (2017). The psychiatric interview (4th ed., Vol. 1, Ser. 1). London, United Kingdom: Wolters Kluwer.

Corey, G. (2011). Theory and practice of group counseling. Nelson Education.

Fredman, S. J., Macdonald, A., Monson, C. M., Dondanville, K. A., Blount, T. H., Hall-Clark, B. N., … & Hancock, A. K. (2019). Intensive, Multi-Couple Group Therapy for PTSD: A Nonrandomized Pilot Study With Military and Veteran Dyads. Behavior Therapy.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2020, from https://blackbearrehab.com/mental-health/ptsd/signs-and-symptoms-of-ptsd/

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