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Summer 2022                                                                         Take the PTSD Self-Screen Here!

 

PTSD Bytes #11: PTSD Resources for Family Members

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In this episode of PTSD Bytes, host Pearl McGee-Vincent discusses PTSD resources for family and loved ones with Dr. Steven Sayers, director of Coaching Into Care (CIC) and Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Listen for how to have a more productive conversation about PTSD, how Coaching Into Care can help, and what resources are available to help family members. Dr. Sayers encourages family members to talk to the Veteran about how he or she is feeling. Ask what they find stressful, and how they want to manage those situations. However, directly talking about traumatic experiences is more difficult and may best be discussed with a counselor or therapist first.

To learn more about a research study for partners of Veterans with PTSD, click here:  Coaching into Care + CRAFT research study.


Talking with Kids about PTSD

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If someone in your family has PTSD, their symptoms may take a toll on everyone. Getting along may be harder than usual. You and other family members may feel hurt or helpless. Children may believe it’s their fault.

All parents have unique strengths and abilities. A Veteran’s military training and experience have given skills that work well in parenting. For example, ability to be organized, meet deadlines, and stick to schedules helps support children with their homework. Being a good parent can also involve paying attention to your children’s strengths and talents. What do your children do well? What do they especially enjoy?

Parenting with PTSD can be challenging and the decision to tell children about your PTSD a personal one.

The VA and DoD developed a parenting website that may help you find positive ways to parent with PTSD and other behavioral challenges. 

Also check out A Veteran’s Guide to Talking with Kids about PTSD by Michelle Sherman, Ph.D., Kristy Straits-Troster, Ph.D., Jennifer Larsen, Ph.D., and Jenna Gress-Smith, Ph.D.


Helping Someone with PTSD

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It’s common for people with PTSD to withdraw from family and friends. Don’t take it personally. Knowing how to best demonstrate your love and support for someone with PTSD isn’t always easy. You can’t force your loved one to get better, but you can play a major role in the healing process by simply spending time together.

Some Tips: Don’t pressure your loved one into talking. Do “normal” things with your loved one, things that have nothing to do with PTSD or the traumatic experience. Let your loved one take the lead rather than telling them what to do. Manage your own stress, be patient, and educate yourself about PTSD.

Visit the National Center for PTSD to learn more about PTSD, and contact Coaching Into Care for education and support in talking to your loved one about mental health treatment.


LEARN MORE


KUDOS

CIC would like to thank and recognize colleagues who collaborated with us to promote or arrange care for our families and their Veterans:

  • Dan Johnson, Readjustment Counseling Therapist, Citrus Heights Vet Center

  • Andrea L. Jamison, Ph.D., National Center for PTSD, VA Palo Alto Health Care System

  • Nicole Ramos, LCSW, Caregiver Support, Washington DC VA Medical Center
  • Catherine Cross, Social Worker, Baltimore VA Medical Center

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