Cincinnati VA Medical Center
Post Traumatic Stress
PTSD is often misunderstood by Veterans, families and the public. PTSD symptoms may include flashbacks, sleep disorders, depression, feelings of isolation or anger, feeling numb, or being preoccupied with the war experience. Any of these can be normal human responses to abnormally stressful situations. Because of misunderstanding about the symptoms, the first reaction by many is to try to self-medicate by use of alcohol or other drugs.
PTSD symptoms can begin shortly after the traumatic event, or even decades later. Life stressors such as birth of a child, divorce, death of a loved one, or retirement may trigger symptoms. For other Veterans, direct reminders of the military experience may trigger symptoms. For others, it may be firecrackers on the fourth of July, the sound of helicopters or certain smells associated with the combat theater. This may happen even when a person seemed to have no problems making the transition to civilian life.
Treatment can reduce symptoms by helping the Veteran and his or her family develop coping techniques to manage the condition. Unfortunately, because of misunderstanding about PTSD, many Veterans may not seek treatment. Individual therapy usually focuses on reducing distress from reminders of the individual traumatic experience. Group therapies may help the Veterans understand that they were not alone in their reaction to the military service. While PTSD may be a chronic condition with periodic return, treatment can help the Veteran understand and deal with the life-changing nature of the trauma. PTSD can be understood.
Fort Thomas Division
1000 S. Ft. Thomas Ave.
Ft. Thomas, KY 41075
Outpatient treatment begins with a comprehensive evaluation to clarify each Veteran’s problems and needs. This evaluation includes a thorough interview, psychiatric evaluation, psychological testing, and occasionally a referral to other hospital providers. Based on the assessment, outpatient treatment options may include several of the following:
- Psychoeducation about PTSD
- Group Therapy (Anger, Coping Skills)
- Family Therapy
- Intensive Individual Therapy
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (with or without written account)
- Prolonged Exposure
- Virtual Reality
- Present Centered Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Couples Therapy
- Medication Management
Treatment, Recovery and Activity Center
The TRAC program focuses on Veterans’ Strengths Needs Abilities and Preferences and is considered the last link between the hospital and the community. The program can help Veterans cope with mental illness, deal with activities of daily living, adjust to life’s challenges, develop the skills to live life to the fullest, and avoid hospitalization.
Veterans are asked to attend treatment at least once a week, and the primary treatment is group therapy. A treatment coach is also available to assist in the Veteran's mental health recovery. The TRAC program offers a Support and Family Education (SAFE) group, day outings, and various groups.
Examples of topics covered in groups include the following:
- computer skills
- health education
- job skills
- living skills and personal development
For more information, about the Trauma Recovery Division, please contact us at (859) 572-6208.
Residential Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Injury (TBI) Programs
The Residential PTSD programs are comprised of 2 intensive 7-week programs for male and female Veterans and an intensive 8-week program for Veterans with both PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Each program provides assessment and brief treatment of PTSD. During the first week in the program, Veterans receive a multidisciplinary assessment to evaluate their readiness for the program. The trauma is addressed using Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) in individual and group sessions. Additional therapy groups include Anger Management, Relaxation Skill Training, Assertiveness Training, Distress Tolerance, Communication Training, Sleep Management, and Health Issues. Veterans in the PTSD/TBI program receive additional services including a full neuropsychological examination, speech pathology evaluation and treatment, and occupational and physical therapy as needed.
Men and Women Veterans of all eras are eligible for both programs.
For more information about trauma recovery, please contact (859) 572-6202.
The behavioral health care staff is here to help Veterans and their families manage and overcome the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This begins with identifying PTSD and increasing understanding.
- Cincinnati VA Medical Center
Hours of Operation
Mon. 8 am - 7:30 pm; Wed. 8 am - 8 pm;
Fri. 8am - 5 pm; Tu.-Thur. 8 am - 6:30 pm