2. When did you set the charity up?
The PTSD Resolution project has been running since January 2007. It has operated to date as a project inside another well-established mental health charity, the Human Givens Institute ( http://www.hgi.org.uk/ ). Resolution is incorporated as an independent charitable body with the UK Charity Commissioners. Registered Charity No. 1133188.
3. Why was it set up?
Resolution was set up to make therapy available more easily to veterans who need it.
Waiting times in the NHS and other treatment services can be 18 months or even indefinite, and some areas have no trauma specialists in post.
A distinctive quality of PTSD Resolution's approach is that therapy is as 'humane' as possible. Most treatment uses one of a small number of trauma protocols that hinge around verbal recounting of traumatic events, so sufferers are usually required to recount their traumatic experiences in detail.
This can be distressing for all involved, and it is in fact one of the main reasons why veterans with trauma symptoms drop put of treatment. However, it is no longer necessary to talk about the events in most cases, as there are many alternative trauma-focussed CBT methods, some of which are actually taught in the UK but are too specialised to be available across the NHS.
The Resolution programme is entirely compatible with the aims and principles of trauma-focussed CBT and the NICE guidelines on PTSD, including relaxation training, psycho-education and cognitive restructuring, plus visual imaginal exposure to change the emotional impact of traumatic memories.
This deals effectively in most cases with the immediate symptoms of PTSD, such as flashbacks and nightmares, that otherwise inhibit progress in treating other problems such as addiction and addressing homelessness, for example.
The treatment programme is sensitive to the particular cultural background and trauma issues associated with the armed services. The method does not require the therapist to have any knowledge of any particular traumatic event: this ensures confidentiality and protects both the patient and therapist from further trauma.
Resolution does not have formal exclusion criteria, and our therapists will work with other conditions that may co-exist with PTSD such as alcohol and drug use, depression, anger and relationship issues. However we are not a mental health crisis service.
4. What makes the charity different?
PTSD Resolution was set up to offer treatment that offered advantages in speed, cost, convenience, privacy and effectiveness over other generally available programmes.
Resolution is complementary to support offered by other forces' charities and can assist a return to normal work and family life.
Resolution offers the option for out-patient treatment which will usually enable the patient to be symptom-free in a very short period of time. A course is often available close to where patients live, through a large network of therapists around the UK, rather than requiring residential care, perhaps far from the patient's home.
There are no lengthy procedures to assess entitlement to help, such as through referrals, service record, or medical history - as the case of most alternative programmes in the sector. All ex-service people are eligible for treatment by a qualified therapist through PTSD Resolution, free of charge.
Resolution will work with people who have drug and alcohol problems, with some conditions. We are also the only charity, as far as we know, that will provide trauma therapy in prisons, where the mental health services are generally overstretched and it would be unusual to find a trauma specialist in any case.