Adult Partial Hospital Programs

Adult Partial Hospital Trauma Track

The Adult Partial Hospital Program’s (PHP) trauma track provides specialized, evidence-based care to individuals impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related concerns. This track is appropriate for those who, together with their providers, have determined that addressing trauma/PTSD is currently the highest priority in their mental health treatment.

Common symptoms of post-traumatic stress are:

  • Nightmares, flashbacks, or thoughts  person cannot get rid of
  • Avoiding thoughts, feelings, and reminders of the traumatic event(s)
  • Feeling jumpy, unsafe, or on edge, being on the lookout for threat, or having trouble sleeping and concentrating
  • Persistent feelings of depression, fear/anxiety, or anger
  • Feeling numb or detached from positive emotions, interests, and relationships
  • Chronic low self-esteem, self-blame, or feelings of guilt or shame
  • Problems in relationships, including difficulty with trust
  • Inability to plan for the future

Patients who are appropriate for the PHP trauma track may have experienced a range of traumatic events across their lifetimes or a single traumatic event resulting in PTSD. Common traumatic events include childhood abuse or neglect, sexual assault or abuse, interpersonal or intimate partner violence, community violence, refugee/war zone trauma, medical trauma, accidents, or other life threatening or extremely distressing events.

Our Treatment Model

The PHP trauma track consists of daily individual and group psychotherapy, daily medication management with a psychiatrist, and an optional mindfulness meditation group. The approach is grounded in the evidence-based principles of dialectical behavior therapy prolonged exposure (DBT-PE) as well as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It is common after experiencing trauma to avoid painful emotions, and these efforts to avoid often lead to greater suffering, such as self-harm, withdrawal from important activities, and other unhelpful behaviors. The PHP trauma track helps people build and master skills to cope with strong emotions and PTSD symptoms so they can understand how trauma and PTSD have impacted their lives, gradually face feared trauma memories and reminders, and live a free and meaningful life.

People in the trauma track go through two stages of treatment based on individual needs and discussions with their treatment team:

  • Stage one focuses on building readiness for trauma treatment through stabilization of unsafe behaviors, reducing avoidance, learning about PTSD and related issues, and building a toolbox of coping skills. Most patients start at this stage of treatment.
  • Stage two consists of prolonged exposure treatment, in which patients face feared trauma memories (imaginal exposures) and situations/reminders (in vivo exposures) with the support and guidance of their treatment team.

Daily Schedule

Individual therapy and psychiatry sessions take place at various points throughout the treatment day and are arranged directly with providers.

8:45 to 9:30 a.m. T-TIME: Trauma Track Information, Management, and Exposure Readiness Group

Stages One and Two

  • Learn and practice DBT, ACT, and CBT skills to cope with PTSD.
  • Learn about PTSD and trauma-related topics, such as intrusive symptoms, self-blame, relationship difficulties, and avoidance behaviors.

9:45 to 10 a.m. Optional Meditation Group

Practice mindfulness techniques to help cope with trauma-related symptoms such as anxiety, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks.

10:15 to 11:45 a.m. Trauma Exposure Groups

Stage One: Imaginal Exposure and Readiness Group

  • In-depth education and practice of DBT skills targeted for PTSD.
  • Skills education includes: safely managing intense emotions/urges, improving mindfulness, prioritizing self-care, using assertive communication, and balancing acceptance with change when managing challenging thoughts and feelings.

Stage Two: Imaginal Exposure Group 

  • Share trauma memories in a safe, supportive group setting with an experienced facilitator.
  • Explore and gain new perspectives on the experience of talking about trauma, as well as the daily impact and meaning of trauma.

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m Lunch Break

Participants are invited to use this free time to enjoy lunch or simply take a break until the next session begins.

12:45 to 1:30 p.m. In Vivo Exposure Group

Stages One and Two

  • Identify current avoidance behaviors.
  • Identify manageable steps for facing fears to reconnect with meaningful activities and relationships.
  • Work together and support other group members to navigate daily goals.