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Military Sexual Trauma

MST Treatment in St. Augustine FL

Military sexual trauma (MST) is a significant problem within the military. Whether they are active military members or veterans, both men and women have reported being sexually abused or harassed. At Dr. Paul's By The Sea, we provide MST treatment services for those who have suffered from this type of abuse. Our St. Augustine Mental Health Treatment Center will also address any disorders developed due to MST, including substance abuse and mental health disorders.

What is MST?

A term coined by the VA, military sexual trauma (MST), refers to sexual assault or harassment during a person's military service. Examples of sexual activities where the person did not give consent or was forced include:

  • The person being threatened or receiving unfavorable treatment if they refuse to consent to sexual activities.
  • Someone touching another inappropriately or in a sexual way when that person is in a vulnerable state. Such as when they are sleeping or under the influence of alcohol.
  • Receiving unwanted sexual advances and threatening sexual behavior.
  • Rape
  •  

Symptoms of Military Sexual Trauma

Those who have experienced MST are at an increased risk of developing substance use disorders (SUD) and mental health disorders. The psychological and physical toll can have a negative effect years after the event.

Symptoms that can result from MST include:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Nightmares
  • Traumatic memories
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Issues with anger
  • Criminal behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Physical health problems
 
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Types of Treatment for MST

MST survivors require treatment to help them process the trauma they experienced. They will also need help in overcoming any mental health issues or addictions that developed due to the sexual assault. Thousands of servicemen and women come forward every year with reports of sexual abuse and in need of treatment.

Each patient will need their own, unique way of processing what happened to them. Often they will require long-term therapy that will include individual and group therapy. Both are beneficial practices, as they help patients work through the embarrassment, fear, anger, and anxiety they feel towards the event and the person who committed it.

Patients will need to learn coping mechanisms to help manage their symptoms; some may need medication to help with anxiety and depression. There are several therapeutic solutions used for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), such as:

Trauma-Focused CBT

Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy uses the same practices as traditional CBT. However, it is specifically focused on the patient's traumatic experience. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a popular and effective form of treatment. It can help patients reject maladaptive and harmful ways of thinking about the sexual abuse they received. Therapists and harmful ways of thinking about the sexual abuse they received. Therapists will work with the patient to rewrite their negative perceptions and the trauma, thereby reversing its effect. Trauma-focused CBT is typically used for short-term treatment and is only useful when the patient wants to get help and is willing to change.

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a new method for treating trauma. It utilizes eye movements, attempting to influence the way the brain processes the traumatic event. A therapist instructs the patient to use the varying eye movements to change the way the brain reviews the event, faces it and changes the body's reaction to the memory.

Somatic Experiences (SE)

SE is the practice of ridding the mind and body of trapped energy caused by the traumatic event. SE recognizes, from a psychobiological point of view, that humans are very similar to animals when the mind and body react to trauma. Animals, however, can discharge the built-up energy caused by the event-allowing trauma resolution. Humans must intentionally and slowly develop a tolerance for feelings, emotions, and other sensations that cause discomfort. Unlike other forms of therapy such as CBT, Somatic Experiences do not require the patient to relive the traumatic event. Its focus is on resolving the physiological issues that hold onto various trauma symptoms, including anxiety and depression.

Joint Commission Accredited

Dr. Paul By The Sea is fully credentialed and licensed in the state of Florida by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO). JCAHO is unanimously considered the gold standard of addiction treatment by industry professionals. Knowing that the facility has obtained this certification should be a top priority for individuals to look at when researching to find the right inpatient or outpatient treatment facility for them. 

We dedicate our facilities and treatment methods to ensuring that we provide the best available recovery options while maintaining professional levels of care. Please contact us today and hear how our caring staff of experts use their experience to implement evidence-based treatments to make sure each of our patients receives the most effective treatment regimens.

 
 
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Treatment for Military Sexual Trauma at Dr. Paul's By The Sea

MST survivors require treatment to help them process the trauma they experienced. They will also need help in overcoming any mental health issues or addictions that developed due to the sexual assault. Thousands of servicemen and women come forward every year with reports of sexual abuse and in need of treatment.

 

Each patient will need their own, unique way of processing what happened to them. Often they will require long-term therapy that will include individual and group therapy. Both are beneficial practices, as they help patients work through the embarrassment, fear, anger, and anxiety they feel towards the event and the person who committed it.

Patients will need to learn coping mechanisms to help manage their symptoms; some may need medication to help with anxiety and depression. There are several therapeutic solutions used for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), such as:

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    Any information you provide is 100% confidential and protected under the HIPPA privacy rule. Dr. Paul’s By The Sea will only use this information in order to place you in a treatment program or services that you specifically request. None of your information will be provided to third parties.

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