Sunday, February 22, 2009

Emergency Services Stress Treatment Program

West Coast Post Trauma Retreat runs a residential 5 day program out of San Francisco at Iverness California. I have just returned from there and want to share some thoughts.

First and foremost it is a program for Law Enforcement Fire and EMS as well as military. You get the whole bag when you "sign up".

Secondly it is "Peer Driven" from those who have had their boots "muddied" on the ground we work on.

Third. Do not sign up for the treatment plan unless your prepared to spill your guts on what you have seen heard and lived through. No free lunch, no muchkin land no "get out of jail free".

You have a chance to break even with yourself when you deal with the ghosts that haunt your mind and heart and face the post traumatic stress that has come from your life and your job. Wounds that are old and new wounds that are fresh are all delt with here. cannot say it better by getting you connected to a treatment plan and an organization that can save your life, your marriage if you have one or, your relationships with loved ones. All stress comes from the consequences of our actions. These people know their stuff and the peers have lived it. No backslidding no hiding from yourself......

There are clinicians who work with the peers and they have been in the system and gone out and re trained and educated, but the program is for you and about you. You are in session
with others who are wounded and who are also seeking help.

The peers help you to face your demons and deal with them. The setting is safe, good lodgings, great food cooked by firefighters and law enforcement/ems. The site is located at St. Columba Retreat House in Inverness California.

Run do not walk to the West Coast Post Trauma Retreat web site and have a look at some of the programs. They are there for you and it is all about you. Now is that not about time that it is about you? That it is about how you need help to find your way out of the "emotional smoke of events" that have haunted you.

I am on retreat myself for the next two weeks after having experienced first hand what they do there. Nothing further can be said.

If you want help with your post traumatic stress wounding it is there.

Web site: click on link to west coast and view our write up on our links page or contact them directly at:

Address is: 4460 Redwood Highway Suite 362
San Rafael, CA 94901
Telephone 415-721-9789

If you are California Emergency Services and worked on or at the World Trade Center CA has mandated that you may be covered for your treatment costs. Check with your city or local family dept assistance program or your clergy.

They use the A.I.D. L.I.F.E. acronym which stands for:

A Ask
I Intervene Immediately
D Don't keep it a secret

L Locate help
I Involve Command
F Find someone to stay with the first responder now
E Expedite. Get help now. Immediate action from professionals is essential

* (reprint from Los Angeles Sheriff's Office Employee Support Services Bureau)

"P.T.S.D. Not All Wounds are Visible"
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