Through empowerment, mindfulness and a resort-like environment, La Amistad Behavioral Health Services in Central Florida, attempts to create conditions for past trauma to become identified and processed toward resolution. La Amistad has a 40-year history of treating trauma-related conditions, including abandonment, sexual trauma, combat trauma, trauma from medical complications and diagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The La Amistad clinical team effectively incorporates cognitive behavioral techniques along with prolonged exposure techniques that generally follow these principles:
- Education: Through specialty psycho-educational and psycho-dynamic groups and individual sessions, our residents come to an understanding of the scope of their needs and how trauma affects their daily functioning.
- Relaxation/Mindfulness: Through the use of meditation groups, participation in La Amistad’s wellness program and learned relaxation techniques, residents are taught and experience effective relaxation. The use of relaxation is a key component when exposing anxiety-provoking trauma.
- Real World Practice: When past trauma begins to progressively interfere with daily “safe”
activities, intervention is recommended. Through groups, off-campus activities and
individual therapy, residents begin to incrementally challenge their daily limitations through
controlled steps. The process of overcoming small, “fear-based” limitations that are not directly connected to the trauma allows individuals to feel confidence to take the next step.
- Talking About the Trauma: The trauma is discussed in an individual therapy session, which is the final process, allowing the individual to verbally re-live the trauma in order to reduce the
connection between the memory and stalled emotions. This is called exposure therapy. Through the relaxation/mindfulness process, individuals begin to self-regulate their emotions while experiencing the exposure of their trauma and the reduction of its impact.
La Amistad clinicians have been trained and exposed to multiple modalities of treatment related to trauma, including: prolonged exposure therapy, EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy and
client-centered therapy. The combination of individual therapy with group therapy creates the optimal climate for change.
It is our goal that individuals find mastery over their victimization and move through, not only surviving their circumstances, but thriving through them.