Returning Heroes Home, Inc. - Bob Woodruff Foundation

Returning Heroes Home, Inc.

Intensive Outpatient Program for the treatment of PTSD

Location: San Antonio, TX

Issue Area: Rehabilitation and Recovery

The Brooke Army Medical Center Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) treatment protocol includes a narrative therapy component that uses poetry and journal writing to help patients process emotionally traumatic events. Led by a professional writer and co-facilitated by psychologists and social workers, this therapy helps patients process emotionally driven memories that present as flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive thoughts. Program participants report reduced post-traumatic stress symptoms, re-engagement with family members, improved occupational functioning, and a decrease in suicidal ideation and alcohol use. Narrative therapy has also been shown to facilitate emotional expression, increase engagement with the treatment protocol and reduce the IOP dropout rate. The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will be used to hire a professional writer and support development of a ‘self-reporting’ questionnaire to assess this narrative therapy component.  The Bob Woodruff Foundation is interested in finding non-traditional therapies that facilitate healing and may resonate with certain populations of military and veterans.