About Trauma, PTSD and Occupational Stress Injury (OSI)
Some people have occupations where they are regularly exposed to trauma. These jobs put them at risk to develop occupational stress injuries. Examples include public safety personnel and first responders such as fire, police, paramedics, correctional officers, emergency room personnel and 911 operators or dispatchers. Some people experience trauma in an automobile accident, or caring for a loved one who is ill, or through physical or sexual violence. All of these can result in PTSD.
When a potentially dangerous or deadly event occurs, it’s normal to go through a period of anxiety. However, for some people, the emotional effects of the trauma do not fade with time. Instead, stress levels remain high. As months and years pass, this consistently high level of anxiety takes a toll on the person’s health. When this occurs, a person may be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress injury, commonly referred to as PTSD. PTSD is a brain injury that impacts a person's mental and physical health conditions. PTSD requires specialized treatment and intervention.
Clients can learn how to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of their life. One way to achieve these skills is by combining therapy, mindfulness, regular exercise, making efforts to improve sleep quality and eat healthier meals, and taking medication (if appropriate). Client may also benefit from exposure therapy (as appropriate, depending on individual circumstances). Exposure therapy provides individuals with an opportunity to desensitize themselves to situations or triggers that cause PTSD symptoms, in a safe and supportive environment.
Boreal Wellness Centres is a recognized leader in providing multi-disciplinary group therapy programs, including its Resilient Living™ Trauma Day Treatment Program. Read the details of the program below.
Resilient Living™ Trauma Day Treatment Program
Our Resilient LivingTM Trauma Day Treatment Program assists individuals with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sometimes also referred to as post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI) or an operational stress injury (OSI). The trauma program aims to improve daily functioning and quality of life and assists clients with returning to work (if appropriate). As clients learn to draw on their strength and resiliency, they discover new tools for moving forward instead of being controlled by trauma.
The trauma program serves public safety personnel, first responders, military veterans, and civilians. Civilians that are not sponsored by WorkSafeBC will participate in civilian-only cohorts.
When it comes to expertise in working with public safety personnel, approximately half of our clinical team have occupational awareness training and experience. This makes Boreal Wellness Centres one of Canada's largest occupationally aware clinical practices.
Curriculum and Schedule
The Resilient Living™ Trauma Day Treatment Program is an interdisciplinary approach to PTSD treatment with three therapeutic elements: multidisciplinary group activities, individual therapy and return-to-work planning.
- The group activities are a mix of cognitive therapy, fitness, mindfulness, trauma-informed yoga and nutrition. Group therapy uses cognitive behavioral therapy and cognitive processing therapy to teach participants how to manage the PTSD symptoms, to help them process their trauma(s) and to improve their functioning at home and at work.
- Individual therapy sessions with a psychologist use tools such as prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy or cognitive behavioural (CBT)to help process participant’s trauma(s) and improve functioning.
- The return-to-work planning is coordinated by an occupational consultant who meets with participants, case managers and employers (as warranted and with participant permission) and communicates with other Boreal team members.
The Resilient Living™ Trauma Day Treatment Program also includes family PTSD education sessions where loved ones can learn about PTSD and explore strategies to be helpful and take care of themselves.
The group portion of the Resilient Living™ Trauma Day Treatment Program meets two days per week for ten weeks (20 clinical days). This schedule allows clients to live at home and manage the challenges of daily life while implementing skills and tools from therapy sessions with guidance from the Boreal Wellness Centres clinical team.
Most days in the program have five group sessions, each 60 minutes in length. At least two of these daily sessions will be psychotherapy, one will be fitness and one will be trauma-informed yoga or mindfulness.
Topics covered in the program include:
- understanding how PTSD/OSI impacts the body
- improving relationships
Clients complete the Resilient Living™ Trauma Day Treatment Program with the same cohort of 6-10 people to ensure the most therapeutic environment.
Upon completion of the ten weeks of group activities, clients are encouraged to attend (at no additional cost) three months of aftercare (one-hour group sessions) led by a registered clinical counsellor (RCC).