In November 2020, Deidre Marsh, MSW, LCSW, licensed behavioral health counselor, began providing PTSD services at Huiras Center, an outpatient behavioral and mental health facility at Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee. This was at the time of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since that time, the Huiras Center has provided PTSD services to more than 80 patients. Of those who have completed the program, 75% no longer meet the criteria for PTSD. Using cognitive processing therapy (CPT), a 12-session individual psychotherapy for PTSD treatment, clients can recover in approximately three months. “For our patients, this means being able to return to work, no longer having nightmares or flashbacks, no longer blaming themselves for what happened, having improved self-esteem and self-confidence and building closer, more trusting relationships,” said Deidre.
“The community has been increasingly aware and utilizing us as a resource for those they encounter who need PTSD treatment,” added Deidre. “A number of our patients have been on Medicaid and unable to find other PTSD treatment providers who accept Medicaid in our area.” Patients have been referred by county mental health services, community therapists, residential addiction treatment facilities, inpatient behavioral health units and Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin physicians.
Deidre said the PTSD team has treated a wide variety of trauma, including military combat exposure, rape, childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, loved one's suicide or overdose, physical assaults and vehicle accidents.