Post Traumatic Stress Disorder / Addictions Issues

Clients who have been concurrently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Addictions Issues

The impact of trauma itself can be far-reaching and enduring and often results in longer term symptoms at the physical, psychological and emotional levels. Trauma, whether experienced personally or to close friends and family, can overwhelm a client’s resilience and can lead to disordered affect and behaviour. To those suffering with PTSD and its sequelae, this concurrent diagnosis significantly complicates the recovery process for physical and cognitive injuries and can interfere with resumption of prior relationships and roles within the home and
community.

Clients who have PTSD in conjunction with other physical or cognitive injuries will require more intensive and prolonged treatment programing. Stages of recovery must be assessed and addressed systematically and include:

  • Stabilization and safety
  • Separating past from the present and future
  • Working with Survival reactions and development of positive coping strategies/harm
    reduction approaches

Occupational Therapy is a client-centered practice that focuses on achieving progress towards the client’s goals and resumption of pre-incident role and responsibilities. We find solutions for every aspect of their lives that have been impacted. Rebuilding life balance and connection with individuals and their prior roles and responsibilities will be addressed using a trauma informed treatment process to promote optimal function. Specifically, we will assist the individual to move into a more regulated state, which will then allow them to better focus on their recovery from physical or cognitive injuries. We do this by capitalizing on a client’s existing strengths and skills, and helping them improve or adapt to any impairment.

Interventions within each stage may include:

  • Providing education
  • Adapting the environment
  • Modifying the task
  • Teaching specific skills
    • Self-regulation
    • Positive coping strategies
    • Addictions management counselling/risk reduction strategies
    • Anxiety management
    • Anger management
    • Sleep hygiene
    • Nightmare management
    • Trigger management
    • Cognitive compensatory strategies
    • Pacing
    • Graduated functional restoration programing
    • Graduated desensitization programming
  • Educating the client/family
    • Socialization with family and friends
    • Community engagement
    • Homemaking and housecleaning
    • Home maintenance
    • School/work
    • Child care
    • Driving

About the author:

Maike McCaskell has over 28 years of clinical experience working as a Registered Occupational Therapist, Case Manager and Life Care Planner…learn more

Contact PiOT for your occupational therapy needs.


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