Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Combat Stress Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society


Welfare and Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Combat Stress works with Veterans of the British Armed Forces, and members of the Reserve Forces, through effective treatment and support for mental health problems. Everything that they do is free of charge to the Veteran.  More information

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Treatments

A range of treatments are provided at our three treatment centres …

CBT: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy combines two very effective kinds of psychotherapy — cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy.

Behaviour therapy helps you weaken the connections between troublesome situations and your habitual reactions to them. Reactions such as fear, depression or rage, and self-defeating or self-damaging behaviour. It also teaches you how to calm your mind and body, so you can feel better, think more clearly, and make better decisions.

Cognitive therapy teaches you how certain thinking patterns are causing your symptoms — by giving you a distorted picture of what’s going on in your life, and making you feel anxious, depressed or angry for no good reason, or provoking you into ill-chosen actions.

When the above techniques are employed in trauma cases the treatment is known as Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Solution Focused Therapy

Solution focused therapy is a problem-solving approach to difficulties which concentrates more on finding effective ways to meet challenges rather than analysing all the reasons why you are in difficulties. It can be applied to a wide range of problems and challenges, and in the shortest possible time.

Solution focused therapy is known to be an effective approach to difficulties associated with emotions and beliefs. When applied to the problems of depression and other stress-related conditions it can quickly bring tangible results.

Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR)

EMDR is a relatively new therapy developed in the last 20 years. It is not quite known why it works but it appears to work very well particularly with patients who have disturbing thoughts, feelings, or flashbacks that often follow a traumatic event. The treatment involves rapid eye movement, normally effected by an outside stimuli, while reflecting on the event. The procedure eliminates or lessens the negative associations of the event with the patient and has a calming, self-affirming effect. EMDR was soon formalised into a new treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (EMDR) and used to treat rape victims and Vietnam veterans.

For more information about EMDR please download the article below.

Art Therapy

This is the use of art materials for self-expression and reflection in the presence of a trained art therapist. Veterans who are referred to an art therapist need not have previous experience or skill in art, the art therapist is not primarily concerned with making an aesthetic or diagnostic assessment of the veteran’s image. The overall aim of its practitioners is to enable a veteran to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials in a safe and facilitating environment.

Anger Management

Anger management is a system of psychological therapeutic techniques and exercises by which a veteran with excessive or uncontrollable anger can control or reduce the triggers, degrees, and effects of an angered emotional state.

Anxiety Management

As above with anxiety being the focus of the intervention. May include relaxation techniques.

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Hygiene is a method of following conditions and practices that promote continuous and effective sleep, including regularity of bedtime and arise time; conforming time spent in bed to the time necessary for sustained and individually adequate sleep (ie, the total sleep time sufficient to avoid sleepiness when awake); restriction of alcohol and caffeine beverages for several hours prior to bedtime; practice of exercise, nutrition, and environmental factors so that they enhance, not disturb, restful sleep.

Social Skills Training

A major goal of social skills training is teaching persons who may or have emotional problems about the verbal as well as nonverbal behaviours involved in social interactions. There are many people who have never been taught such interpersonal skills as making “small talk” in social settings, or the importance of good eye contact during a conversation. In addition, many people have not learned to “read” the many subtle cues contained in social interactions, such as how to tell when someone wants to change the topic of conversation or shift to another activity. Social skills training helps veteran to learn to interpret these and other social signals, so that they can determine how to act appropriately in the company of other people in a variety of different situations. Social Skills Training proceeds on the assumption that when people improve their social skills or change selected behaviours, they will raise their self-esteem and increase the likelihood that others will respond favourably to them. Veterans learn to change their social behaviour patterns by practicing selected behaviours in individual or group therapy sessions. Another goal of social skills training is improving a veteran’s ability to function in everyday social situations. Social skills training can help veterans to work on specific issues-for example, improving one’s telephone manners-that interfere with their jobs or daily lives.

Drugs maintenance and assessment for GP’s

Veterans come to us with their own medical history. During a two week stay, each of the treatment centres can help veterans conform to the medical treatment being prescribed by their own doctors. Whilst medicines cannot be dispensed by an individual treatment centre, appointments can be made with local GPs.

Physical Exercise and Outdoor Pursuits

Exercise is well known for stimulating positive mental well being. Some of our veterans have taken part in Outdoor Pursuits weeks in the Peak District that has seen very encouraging results. The week provides the opportunity for veterans to practice team building and team working skills and for them to rediscover abilities they had forgotten as a result of their psychological trauma and damage.

Occupational and Recreational Therapies

Occupational therapy uses purposeful activity and meaningful occupation to help people with mental health problems and plays a key role in helping people overcome problems and gain confidence in themselves.

Recreational Therapists help individuals reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; build confidence; and socialize effectively so that they can enjoy greater independence, as well as reduce or eliminate the effects of their illness or disability. Using a variety of techniques, including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, music, and community outings, therapists treat and maintain the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their veterans.