Since Marcus Luttrell founded LSF in 2010, we have been calling our program a “therapeutic retreat.” While this title isn’t inaccurate, we found that the word “retreat” brought to mind things like spa days and fishing trips for many people. We wanted to upgrade our messaging to better reflect the services that we provide to the veteran community.
Why Our Program isn’t “Recreational”
Recreational activities are effective additions to PTSD treatment plans and there are many great organizations providing things like hunting, fishing, and camping retreats. We often recommend that veterans participate in these types of programs for the many benefits that they offer.
We like to have a little fun during our program as well, but the majority of the time our participants are rotating through a series of therapeutic activities like Accelerated Resolution Therapy, Neurofeedback, and Trauma-Informed Yoga. The focus is on immediate stress relief, coping skills, and the introduction to treatment options that will allow them to continue their recovery process once they return home.
The LSF Program Format
Our program participants come to our facility and stay for a few days while being introduced to multiple therapeutic tools. This gives them the opportunity to step away from their everyday lives and come to a peaceful place that was designed specifically for them and the work they will be doing with us. It also gives them the opportunity to connect with other veterans who are experiencing the same challenges.
Why We Chose “Post-traumatic Growth Program” Instead
Post-traumatic growth is the theory that “people who endure psychological struggle following adversity can often see positive growth afterward.” Psychologists Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD developed this theory. (You can learn more about Post-traumatic growth at https://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/11/growth-trauma). Since Post-traumatic Growth is the ultimate goal of PTSD recovery, we felt that this was an appropriate description of our program. We also like the hope that this term inspires. It reminds us that having survived a traumatic event can bring positive new meaning to our lives.
To learn more about our program, please visit https://lonesurvivorfoundation.org/service-members/