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Service Members and Care Partners

Service Members

Lone Survivor Foundation knows life after combat. Let us guide you through it.

Our Post-traumatic Growth Programs

Anger, trouble sleeping, chronic pain, lack of purpose, feeling like your brain has been ambushed…It’s common and there’s hope for a better future.  We were founded by a retired Navy SEAL and we understand where you are and where you want to be.  Lone Survivor Foundation is standing by to help with a no-cost, confidential Post-Traumatic Growth Program for you and your family.  A formal diagnosis or disability rating is not required..

Our Program is for service members (both active duty and veterans) from all military branches and service eras, along with their families, who are experiencing symptoms of the following as a result of combat:

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Our Program can provide relief, direction and hope to you and your family with a series of five-day Post-Traumatic Growth Program sessions that take place in our relaxing facilities in Crystal Beach, Texas and Fayetteville, North Carolina. There is no cost to you and we will take care of your travel expenses.

We will use tools not typically offered by government programs to focus on relief from the symptoms of invisible wounds and we will focus on helping you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. At the end of your session, we will help you decide which tools work the best for you and we will help you make a plan for continued healing once you get home.

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If you are a service member, veteran (or a SM’s friend/family) with an immediate crisis, please contact the Veteran Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, or text 838255 for help (24/7 responses), or visit www.veteranscrisisline.net. For our nationwide Resource List, click here.

Submit your application

Upon receipt of your online application, you will be asked to supply a copy of your DD214 and a signed referral form from a healthcare provider stating that this program is appropriate for you at this point in your recovery process. You will then be contacted by our Behavioral Health Coordinator to discuss more details and to schedule your program.

The LSF Program Progression

“Family members are a crucial part of the daily life of a veteran.  You can take a veteran and heal him up, but if you send him back to a family that has not recovered, he’ll just regress.”

– Marcus Luttrell

Our Program includes a progressive series of three Post-traumatic Growth Program sessions.

The first session that you will attend will be for veterans and service members only.  At this session, we will work on education, coping skills, and symptom reduction through multiple therapeutic tools.  We will then help you create a plan for continued healing once you return home.

If you have a significant other, you may be invited back after approximately 6 to 18 months for a Couples’ Session.  During this session, we will provide education and tools for more effective communication and a deeper connection so that you can work together towards healing. We will also provide tools and guidance to help reduce Caregiver Stress.

If you have children living at home, you may be invited back for a third time for a Family Session.  The Family Session will take place approximately 6 – 18 months after the Couples’ Session.  This Session gives the children the opportunity to express their feelings and needs, and provides education for the whole family on how best to communicate and support each other. The goal is to form a more resilient bond between family members, allowing them to move forward together as a cohesive unit.

What to Expect

Our program is five days long.  You will typically travel in on a Thursday and travel home on a Monday.

You will be with a small group of 8 – 10 other participants who are dealing with the same issues that you are.  The session will be staffed with a small team of professionals and a veteran Team Leader that will provide individualized care that is customized to your needs.

Our facilities are large, specially-designed houses in Crystal Beach, Texas and Fayetteville, North Carolina.  They are both located in areas that take advantage of peaceful natural environments and they are designed to make you feel comfortable while encouraging comradery with the other participants. For Individual Sessions, you may be sharing a room with another veteran.  For Couples’ and Family Sessions, you and your significant other will have your own bedroom.

During your session, you can expect to spend each day rotating through a variety of different activities designed to introduce you to therapeutic tools that focus on renewing your mind, body, and spirit.  You will also have some free time and community time with the other participants.

Therapeutic Tools Used in Our Program

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)

ART is an eye-movement based counseling technique that works to stop distressing images from replaying in a person’s mind.  ART utilizes rapid eye movement (REM) while the participant is awake to control and direct the processing power the brain uses during the deepest phase of sleep, known as REM.  The participant is fully awake and aware during the session.  With the assistance of a trained ART Therapist, a participant will be guided to frame their problem into a scene format and then visualize it in short segments while also working on the images, body sensations and emotions attached to that scene or memory.  In ART we like to say “keep the knowledge, lose the pain.”  At the end of an ART session, most participants report that they no longer see their distressing images, or that the images seem distant or far away.  After ART participants say they can remember the event without experiencing the fear, panic, and distress that once accompanied that scene.  The participant retains the knowledge of the event or memory but can now think of it without experiencing physical or emotional distress.  ART is offered primarily at our individual sessions but can also be requested at other session types if available.  For more information on ART, please visit www.acceleratedresolutiontherapy.com.

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TRAUMA-INFORMED YOGA

Trauma-Informed Yoga

Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India 4,000 years ago.  Yoga is not a religion.  Yoga is a system to develop a mind-body connection allowing you to effectively manage stress, find contentment and compassion, and lead a healthy and happy life.  Yoga is proven to be an excellent practice to manage the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).  National Institute of Health studies indicate significantly lower levels of stress, lower blood pressure, and lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in people who practice yoga regularly. Here at LSF we utilize “trauma-informed yoga” to help participants find relief from physical and emotional pain.  Trauma-informed yoga utilizes a specially trained instructor to teach a yoga practice that is sensitive to the unique concerns that people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) experience.  From the set up of the room to the method of teaching from the mat, our instructors are trained to create a yoga space that is safe and comfortable for our participants.  In that space, our instructors guide you through an experience of mindful meditation, mindful movement, and mindful rest (yoga nidra).  Anyone can participate and benefit from the practice of trauma-informed yoga.  We often provide a short morning yoga to help with stiffness and get the day going right, as well as a mindful movement class during the day which can be customized and modified to adapt to any injuries or limitations, and an evening relaxation meditation known as yoga nidra, or yoga sleep.  For more information on trauma-informed yoga, visit www.veteransyogaproject.org.

Education Classes

Each day of our sessions, we offer an educational class focused on the needs of our participants.  Topics generally include things like post-traumatic stress, post-traumatic growth, brain injury, chronic pain, coping skills, and relationship topics for couples session.  We also take time to discuss available treatment options for each of those topics.  We customize the class each day for the needs of each attendee.  This is an interactive, discussion-oriented class but it is not a therapy group.  Participants are encouraged to listen and are not required to share unless they desire.  Most participants report that they learned something new about their injuries in the class and that there is a great sense of relief in knowing they are not alone in the symptoms they are facing.

EDUCATION CLASSES
Creative Arts

Creative Arts

At some of our programs, we offer a Creative Arts component where participants are invited to express their experience through drawing, painting, and other creative mediums.  Working with your hands to access, release and transform images related to trauma can be very powerful and healing.  In our creative arts groups, a trained Art therapist will lead you through guided art activities.  No artistic ability is required to participate.  Participants often report that seeing all of their art at the end of the session is very fulfilling and therapeutic.  For more information about Creative Arts Therapy, visit www.arttherapyblog.com/what-is-art-therapy.

Alpha-Stim

Alpha-Stim is a Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation device (CES) that is FDA approved to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, and pain. At each of our programs, we have masters level clinicians who have completed certification training on effective use of Alpha-Stim.  We provide an in-depth tutorial on the device and its application as well as instructional sessions on how to properly use the device.  Participants are encouraged to use the device throughout the weekend.  Many take advantage of this opportunity and report that they feel less anxious and that they are sleeping better after use of Alpha-Stim than with any other treatment they have tried. For more information on Alpha-Stim, visit www.alpha-stim.com.

Alpha-Stim

Program Feedback

"For the first in 15 years, I feel like it's ok to finally live again. I owe it to this retreat! Thank you"

"I came to LSF in a very dark area of my life. I had reached out a few weeks prior to my primary resources only to be treated like I didn’t matter. I was at wit’s end. The symptoms I had been experiencing were all new, even though I had been dealing with PTSD for years. The new symptoms were more than I could handle but I hung on a few more days to reach out again for help. Thank God I was able to get relief from my symptoms through the LSF program. I felt as if I had been unstuck. I got what I needed to start moving forward again. From the bottom of my heart, thanks LSF and staff for what you do."

"I made more progress this weekend than I have made in the last 5 years of therapy."

"For the first time since my husband was shot, I truly believed he/we would be, not only ok, but great. Thank you."

"LSF has given our family a new lease on life. We have been given hope for the future, forgiven for the past, and have gained understanding. We are united as one and are now on our way to living a more fulfilled and positive life together!"

"There were things I had been experiencing since combat that I thought were only unique to me. It wasn’t until Lone Survivor Foundation that I found out that there were other veterans with the exact same things I had been experiencing. I am and will be forever grateful to Lone Survivor Foundation and its staff for everything they have done for me and for making me feel like I’m back home again."

"It has given me the quality time I needed to reconnect with my children, understand their concerns, and learn parenting skills I needed to be a better father and positive role model for them! I am forever grateful for people like you, that give back to disabled veterans reaching out for help to better their lives and the lives of their families."

"I do appreciate LSF and what you all do. I finally felt that I met people I could connect with during the retreat last year. And in my situation that is difficult to do."

"Life Changer, after this program I'm recharged and ready."

"This program saved my life, I had no other choices."

"I recommend this program to everyone, because if it worked for me, it can work for anyone."

"I was able to address a situation that has been bothering and haunting me for 9 years."

"Even after our session is over, throughout the day, things just come to you as 'ta-da moments'."

"There were many things revealed in each session. I appreciate being more connected with my wife and hearing what I can do to remain connected and communicating."

"I didn’t know what to expect, but I can sum it up easily. In the four days I was with LSF, I felt I made more breakthroughs and realizations about my disabilities than in the three years of therapy at the VA. I made friends and felt a camaraderie I haven’t felt in a long time. THIS PROGRAM WORKS and I hope it will help many other veterans like myself for years to come."

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