This blog is the work of Loyola University Chicago's Advanced Reporting class for Spring 2011. We will be researching and writing about mental illnesses and brain diseases in an effort to educate the general public about the issues surrounding mental health. We hope to reduce the stigma of mental illness and present accurate and fair reporting on current mental health issues.
There is no magic treatment for post-traumatic stress. In fact, it can be one of the toughest mental health problems to treat. A Colorado school is taking a theological approach to dealing with PTSD.
They have began teaching Air Force chaplains to take into account religious beliefs specific to the individual. Appealing to these beliefs can better help servicemen and women with coping. There is no prerequisite for having religious beliefs to treat PTSD, but the emphasis on the individuality is key. As every person responds differently to stress, personalizing treatments is the best option for success.
Carrie Doehring a the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado thinks that building trust is an important goal. She believes this program is the only in the country. It is a small program, but growing. A recent graduate and Air Force Chaplain reports this has been incredibly helpful.
It doesn't seem like a bad gig, either. Chaplain Dallas Little, deployed in southwest Asia, has been successfully helping his patients in active duty. Treating servicemen and women on location has its benefits. Soldiers suffering trauma may not know how to share their experience after returning.
In my opinion, It is great this school is developing a successful approach to dealing with PTSD. Using this personalized approach, as well as sharing the experience of the traumatic environment, is valuable.