Category: Couples / Close Relationships

Symposium

Symposium 27 - Innovative Ways to Involve Families in PTSD Treatment

Friday, November 17
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Aqua Salon E & F, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: Couples / Close Relationships | Veterans | PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)
Presentation Type: Symposium

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition impacting both the individual and the family system. Veterans with PTSD surveyed about treatment preferences indicate a strong desire for family therapy over individual therapy, suggesting the need to develop treatment options that are more inclusive of the family system. Including family members may be especially important for PTSD due to symptoms such as anger, withdrawal/numbing, and avoidance, which directly impact interpersonal relationships in both romantic and parental domains. Further, increased distress within the family can lead to elevated PTSD symptoms. Behaviors including accommodation (helping the veteran avoid reminders), and social constraints around trauma disclosure can impact social support, leading to further isolation and increased symptomatology.


This symposium will discuss the influence of the family environment on PTSD therapy, and will highlight the value of innovative approaches to provide family-based care. Presenters will focus on the influence of family factors on the evidence based psychotherapy (CPT and PE) process among both male and female veterans. We will also discuss the use of technology to deliver care into the home when practical constraints such as work schedule and transportation difficulties might otherwise prevent family-member participation. Data from two clinical trials will also be presented. In Structured Approach Therapy (SAT), the couple processes the veteran's traumatic experiences through dyadic disclosure methods and in Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT), the couple approaches they thoughts and feelings connected to trauma that keep the PTSD symptoms stuck.  We will highlight both the importance of considering the family system in individual therapy and identifying innovative approaches to care of Veterans with PTSD and their family members.

Learning Objectives:

Leslie Morland

Director of TMH for San Diego VA Health Care System (VASDHCS); Associate Professor of Psychiatry
San Diego VA Health Care System; University of CA, San Diego

Presentation(s):

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Brian Buzzella

Director, Family Mental Health Program
VA San Diego Healthcare System

Presentation(s):

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Laura Meis

Health Science Specialist
Minneapolis VAMC

Presentation(s):

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Elizabeth Wrape

Clinical Psychologist
VA San Diego Healthcare System

Presentation(s):

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Julia Cretu

Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System

Presentation(s):

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Kathleen M. Grubbs

Clinical Psychologist
VA San Diego Healthcare System

Presentation(s):

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