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Seeing Beyond Military Service When Treating Veterans

Seeing Beyond Military Service When Treating Veterans

When people hear of trauma in veterans, they automatically assume it's related to their service in the military. While in many cases this may be true but in many more, it's related to trauma before they joined the military. Many join the military to escape the life they had before service. Many service members join to find a new way of life and leave behind whatever circumstance they may have found themselves in.

I joined the military for exactly those reasons. It was the best decision I had made to that point in my life. When I look back on it being part of the military was the first real sense of stability I had in my life. Looking back though, I realize I didn’t know how to relate to people and form friendships, but I did feel as though I belonged for once. This was until I got injured and my first sense of stability let me down.

Being twenty-three and going from jumping out of planes and being extremely physically active to being cared for was no fun. Over the course of the next year, I had several major surgeries and was provided an inordinate amount of pain medications. Besides the pain medications, I was told there would be limits on physical activity. This led to hopelessness and I still have the problems I had prior to military service.

Having this knowledge and experience has allowed us at Banyan Treatment Centers to understand it is more than just military service which impacts our veterans. Many veterans become lost after service and have lost a sense of purpose and belonging. The traumas before and after service are still there, making it even more difficult to find a sense of purpose.

Knowing the complexities of this population is why we offer Accelerated Resolution Therapy or ART at all our facilities a part of our Military and Veterans in Recovery program. ART is like EMDR and is evidence-based but can offer faster results. EMDR focuses on cognition, and feeling, and requires the individual to have a breakthrough. This can take time and the individual will have to relive the event. ART focuses on the image and the sensation. The individual does not need to relive the event and can find relief in just one session. As one veteran told me “I have been doing EMDR for two years and haven’t felt as good as after my first session with ART."

We only have the individual in our care for a short period of time and want to use their time as efficiently as possible. Using this modality for the treatment of trauma allows us to do this. In addition, we built our program to focus on the teamwork and sense of community the military creates. This allows our clients to do the work necessary in a setting that they understand and feel comfortable in. As our program evolves, we will continue to adjust and be flexible to meet the needs of those who have given so much of themselves. Banyan will strive to lead the way in bringing the best care to all those we serve.

Call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 for more information.


Related Reading:

Anxiety in Veterans

Veterans' Reaction to Afghanistan

Mike Urban
Mike Urban
Michael Urban is a Veteran in recovery and a LCSW in the state of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Widener University where he earned a master’s in Social Work. While at Widener, Michael completed a certificate in the treatment of trauma and has been trained in the application of Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). Over the past five years, he has worked in all levels of care within the addiction field. He created a program to treat substance use and eating disorders concurrently which has then been applied to the Banyan Eating Disorder Program in Philadelphia, PA. Furthermore, Michael began building a private practice where he worked primarily with individuals who suffer from co-occurring eating and substance use disorders. Towards the beginning of 2020, he founded and ran a program for Veterans and First Responders, to assist circumstances resulting from COVID 19. Currently, Michael is a Veterans Business Development Representative with Banyan Treatment Centers and has implemented a Veteran’s program and believes in helping establish relationships with veterans’ hospitals across the Country.
Seeing Beyond Military Service When Treating Veterans
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