Approximately 8% of adults in America experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) every year. Some people develop the condition after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident or sexual assault.
Rates are higher in Veterans, particularly those who receive their health care from VA, including 12% of Veterans overall and 26% of OEF/OIF Veterans.
As the nation’s leading provider of effective trauma-focused treatments for the condition, VA offers hope of healing for the silent wounds of war while training future health professionals in VA’s gold standard of PTSD care.
Exceptional training found only at VA
VA’s National Center for PTSD is the world’s leading research and educational center of excellence on PTSD and traumatic stress. At VA sites across the country, VA health professions trainees receive exceptional training and experience, preparing them for the workforce at VA or in their communities.
Treatment for trauma across the life span.
Many highly trained experienced VA professionals go on to teach health professions trainees in the condition’s treatments. VA trainees learning Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) participate in a six-month consultation with a trained consultant.
With more than 70 percent of VA psychologists reporting they completed training in VA, our education mission significantly impacts Veteran care.
VA staff are provided structured training in PTSD treatments such as CPT and Prolonged Exposure (PE).
CPT helps people recognize how trauma has changed their view about themselves, others and the world. CPT teaches people to think through their “stuck points” – negative thoughts about the trauma that get in the way of recovery. They consider new, more balanced perspectives.
VA provides treatment related to trauma across the life span. Trainees receive a diversity of training experiences in treating trauma related to childhood sexual abuse, military sexual trauma, combat-related trauma and accidents.
Trainees also gain valuable training and experience in treating Veterans with a wide range of conditions in addition to PTSD. Those conditions include depression, substance abuse or chronic pain. This enables them to treat complex patients in VA or the community.
Emphasis on gold standard treatment
Training future health professionals in the latest treatments increases Veterans’ access to care both inside and outside of VA.
“What makes VA unique and special for PTSD training is the quality of the trainee experience, supervision, the emphasis on gold standard treatments and the unparalleled diversity of patient experiences,” said Dr. Dana Holohan, director of the Center for Traumatic Stress at Salem VA Medical Center. She’s also the former chair of the VA Psychology Training Council.
Related blog post: Hope after PTSD… Special Forces commando finds peace of mind.