Managing Traumatic Stress and Combat PTSD Through The R-E-C-O-V-E-R Approach*
INTRODUCTION TO THE R-E-C-O-V-E-R APPROACH TO PTSD
The Seven Logical Steps to PTSD Management: PTSD Management is a process of regaining balance in the biological, psychological, and relational systems that govern our daily existence. PTSD actually causes disruptions in these systems, and it is these disruptions that cause its symptoms. Now, many mental health professionals believe that one should try to launch a full frontal attack on "symptoms". We disagree. We believe that if the proper foundation is laid, properly and simply, many symptoms may actually resolve. We also believe that, despite any "frontal attack" one wishes to launch on PTSD symptoms, they will be likely to recur unless a proper foundation for management is laid. So either way you look at it, it's best to start in the simplest way. Best of all, it is the way that you can implement, yourself. The steps that comprise the R-E-C-O-V-E-R approach are:
1. R ecognizing when PTSD is in your life (and how it may be affecting you and others)
2. E ducating yourself about PTSD (you can't solve a problem unless you know what it is)
3. C onnecting your biology to your psychology (PTSD is actually a treatable MEDICAL illness)
4. O rganizing a care plan (one that makes YOU an equal partner with your provider)
5. V iewing your issues in a new light (no, you aren't crazy; nor are you alone in this)
6. E mpowering yourself through strong systems of support (including this site)
7. R edefinining the meaning of your life (trauma can plant seeds for growth, not just destruction)
What No One Ever Told You About Trauma: As we journey with you through these seven steps, you will learn a great deal from us that, in all likelihood, no one ever told you about trauma. This is, in part, because we are fortunate to have a base of clinical experience with trauma that other simply don't. We also view it in new and different ways that are understandable to people. There are three things we commit ourselves to providing you on this website, and in our book. The first is medically sound information. The second isunderstandable explanations. The third is a specific pathway to guide your journey.
Likewise, there are four things we think you have a right to know, if you are going to do daily battle with PTSD, and they are:
1. That you are not alone, and that you are not "crazy"
2. That PTSD has a biological root, and you should know what it is and how it operates
3. That there are many ways PTSD affects lives, careers, marriages and families, especially ones that people don't talk about
4. That you can learn to assess your current situation and chart a course for your own care
Professional Help DOES Matter: You should know that this is a book about self-knowledge and self-empowerment. To be as effective as possible, however, those two things should, whenever possible, be paired with the help of medical, spiritual and mental health providers. You cannot be your own psychiatrist. However,you are the expert on your own life, and can be a full-fledged partner with your caregiver in your recovery.
Each of us (Dr. Croft and Chaplain Parker) write these words to you on a big screen computer, which we look at through the corrective glasses without which neither of us can see. The fact that we are effectively blind without glasses doesn't make us weak or incompetent. Like billions of people the world over, we have conditions or handicaps in life. We celebrate the fact that we also can develop tools to overcome those challenges, and in the process we become stronger, more knowledgeable, and wiser.
We look forward, on a daily basis, to sharing with you from the vat of whatever wisdom we have accumulated. Please honor us, in turn, with yours. Email your comments, stories and insights email@example.com. We'll be looking for you... and looking forward to an HONEST relationship with each of you.
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