Thursday, May 19, 2016

Couples Learn to Heal PTSD Together

Couples leave Virginia retreat armed with tools to alleviate weight of war
Stars and Stripes
By Dianna Cahn
Published: May 19, 2016

Iraq war veteran Lucas Lewis, left, his wife Christine Lewis, fellow veteran Adrian Veseth-Nelson, his wife Diana and retreat staffer Misty Williams gather for a final cheer at the end of the Bridging the Gap retreat in Middleburg, Virginia on Dec. 12, 2015.
“The people attending this retreat through the nature of their traumatic experiences have seen the very worst side of humanity. But these retreats show them the very best side. …. There is one central truth that has never changed for me. And that is, that the only force of nature powerful enough to overcome the moral injuries that are inherent to traumatic experiences is a strong sense of community and human connection.”

— From “Overcoming Moral Injuries,” a digital TEDx talk by retired Army Maj. Josh Mantz, whose injuries nearly led him to suicide. He was a patient of Victoria Bruner as she created her retreat model.

MIDDLEBURG, Va. — And then it was over. They filled out their questionnaires, said their goodbyes and stepped out of the bubble that had formed around them.

Six couples came to this retreat in Virginia because the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had wreaked havoc on their lives and relationships. They’d been skeptical: Nothing had worked. What could a long weekend do?
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