FAQ

“I’m thinking of using your services but I have no idea where to start!” 

The best way to start is to pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-888-381-6874. Reception will put you in touch with a clinician right away to answer any questions you may have.

We also offer Community Information Sessions on a regular basis to both the general public as well as Health Care providers.  If you are interested in attending any one of these sessions, please let us know (sessions are planned according to confirmation of attendance).

“Is there any out-of-pocket costs to me for your programs or services?” 

Most (if not all) treatments for the communities we serve are free of charge to First Responders.  Should someone require additional services above and beyond, those may or may not incur a fee but that will depend on the particular need, the program of interest, the resources available, and other factors. Best is to give us a call (confidentially) and we can discuss these with you.

“Why Group Therapy?” 

Leading research indicates that Group Therapy is regarded as having the highest efficacy for recovery for many complex mental health diagnoses. Just a few citations of that research can be found here:

  1. Foy DW, Glynn SM, Schnurr PP, et al. Group therapy. In: Foa EB, Keane TM, Friedman MJ, eds. Effective Treatments for PTSD: Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. New York, NY: Guilford; 2000:155-175.
  2. Foy DW, Ruzek JI, Glynn SM, Riney SJ, Gusman FD. Trauma focus group therapy for combat-related PTSD. An update. J Clin Psychology. 2002;58:907-918. Foa EB, Keane TM, Friedman MJ. Effective Treatments for PTSD: Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. New York, NY: Guilford; 2000.
  3. Foa EB. Psychological processes related to recovery from a trauma and an effective treatment for PTSD. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1997;821:410-424.
  4. Linehan M. Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York, NY: Guilford; 1993.
  5. Herman Judith L. Trauma and Recovery. New York, NY: Basic Books; 1992.
  6. Najavits LM. Seeking Safety: A Treatment manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse. New York, NY: Guilford; 2002.
  7. Young BH, Ruzek JI, Ford JD. Cognitive-behavioral group treatment for disaster-related PTSD. In: Young BH, Blake DD, eds. Group Treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Philadelphia, Penn: Taylor & Francis; 1999:149-200.
  8. Walser RW, Gregg JA, Westrup D, Rogers D, Loew D. Acceptance and commitment therapy: treatment of complex PTSD. Paper presented at: Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress; November, 2002; Baltimore, MD. Mitchell JT. When disaster strikes. J Emerg Med Serv. 1983;8:36-39.
  9. Bisson JI, McFarlane AC, Rose S. Psychological debriefing. In: Foa E, Keane T, Friedman M, eds. Effective Treatments for PTSD: Practice Guidelines From the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. New York, NY: Guilford; 2000:39-59.
  10. Ruzek JI. Providing “brief education and support” for emergency response workers: An alternative to debriefing. Mil Med. 2002;167(suppl 9):73-75.
  11. Harney PA, Harvey MR. Group psychotherapy: An overview. In: Young BH, Blake DD, eds. Group Treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Philadelphia, Penn: Taylor & Francis; 1999:1-14.
  12. Zaidi LY. Group treatment for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In: Young BH, Blake DD, eds. Group Treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Philadelphia, Penn: Taylor & Francis; 1999:201-220.
  13. Yalom ID. Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy. 4th ed. New York, NY: Basic Books; 1995.

… and more.

That said, Group Therapy may not be required or appropriate for your treatment. For more information, please check out our Group Therapy page or if you like, speak to one of our Program Specialists regarding your unique needs.

“How much of a wait period is there before I can start receiving treatment?”

Individual programs and services have no wait list.  Members, family and professionals can begin immediately. Group programs and services may have a short waiting period before commencing to ensure that groups are profession-specific.  Being profession-specific ensures that members in group programming are participating in treatment with members of their profession only.  For example, Fire sits with Fire and Police sit with Police. Different professional services experience trauma differently, so this is not just out of respect for the clients, it is also in line with leading best practices and feedback from the individual service members themselves.

“I see a lot of service providers online that say similar things. How is Occutrauma different?”

Personally speaking, it is not only the programs and services that can make the difference – the way they are offered may make the difference as well, but that can come down to personal taste.

For instance, not only are our locations “trauma-informed”, they are also environments which clients say are easy to come to and relax in regardless of whether they are receiving treatment. Clients who are high-performing or professional athletes like our programs because they can include very unique and specific excursions as part of overall or after-care treatment.  Our outreach to and with the community is quite different from other providers.  To some individuals these differences may mean something and to others they may not, however we always strive to go “above and beyond” for the communities we serve in making it as easy as possible to get help.

Clinically speaking, there are very few other Culturally Competent intensive outpatient programs for Uniformed Personal, First Responders and their families available in Canada.  Culturally Competent services understand and support the unique differences between First Responder Services.  We have travelled across North America and spoken with Uniformed Personnel and First Responder Leaders and members at every level of their organizations and we created our service based on these conversations.  Here are a few key distinctions that make us different:  

  • We focus solely on and specialize in Occupational Stress Injury and trauma related disorders.
  • Our programs and services were designed only for Uniformed Personnel, First Responders, their families and Community professionals.
  • No civilians are permitted in our profession specific intensive group services.
  • We focus solely on and specialize in Occupational Stress Injury and trauma related disorders.
  • Our intensive groups are profession specific. For example, this means that Police will only participate with other Police.
  • We provide comprehensive services for family specializing in understanding living with a public service member.  
  • We provide profession specific clinician facilitated peer support groups
  • We provide family support groups for family members of Uniformed Personnel and First Responders
  • We provide free screening and diagnostic comprehensive assessments which includes review by our multidisciplinary team. The multi-disciplinary team reviews the assessments to determine the best treatment options for the clients. 
  • Our multi-disciplinary team includes a Psychiatry, Nursing, Psychology (clinical and counselling), Social Work, Coaching, Family Counselling and Occupational Therapy.

“Do you offer evening/weekend programming?”

We offer programming and services weekdays, evenings and Saturdays depending on the service or program you are interested in.  A general list of our programs and services are as follows:  

  • Assessment
  • Indivdual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Telehealth
  • Coaching
  • Peer Support
  • Family Support Group
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Group
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Group  

For a full list of our programs and services, and to inquire about times and availability, please give us a call.

“What is ‘Continuing Care’?”

Continuing Care is a clinician facilitated structured group program for members who have completed an intensive program.

The Continuing Care program provides weekly ongoing support following completion of a treatment program and promotes the practice and maintenance of the skills learned while in treatment.

Members do not need to complete an Occutrauma program to attend our Continuing Care program. Completion of any treatment program from anywhere is acceptable.

The Continuing Care program offers sessions once per week and each session is 1.5 hours. The sessions provide review of weekly goals, targets, treatment plan, adjustments, process discussions and recovery management.

We look to the group for resiliency, what is working, what is not, and to share stories of challenges and successes.

Continuing Care is different than Peer support as it is clinician-led, structured, and contains elements of psychoeducation.  

“Do I need a medical referral to use your services?”

Referral is easy! No medical or professional referral is required. Clients and their families can make a referral. Best is to give us a call.

“You mention meals and transportation on your website.  Can you elaborate?”

Depending on the number in the group and the duration of the group program, an end-of-week complimentary catered lunch is available at each of our service locations. We offer a catered lunch for those who have successfully completed our program during the graduation ceremony.  A fridge and microwave are available for daily meals. If any of our clients are experiencing financial hardships while in our intensive group programs, both meal and transportation can be made available on a case-by-case basis. Further details on either meals or transportation can be acquired by speaking to one out team members.

“What happens if the client has car problems / illness / child care issues /snow storm?”

It is important to attend and continue which ever therapy program you have begun. Therapy can be hard as it brings up difficult feelings and memories, and often avoidance is common. We ask everyone considering working with us to understand these challenges and make every effort to complete treatment. Non-completion of treatment can leave many of the issues which have been discussed open and unresolved and can cause unnecessary and prolonged additional stress.

For the best opportunity for success while attending group programming it is very important to make a strong commitment and attend the clinic on the days scheduled. Factors which may prevent the client from regular attendance are assessed and considered at the outset of the program. Our team will work with you to discuss options for treatment which allow you to receive services while maintaining your other commitments.

Circumstances such as family, work, care giver responsibilities are facts of life. Not everyone is able to attend our 90-day program so we will work with you to find a service which accommodates you.

If there happens to be any unforeseen events (such as inclement weather) those will be addressed on an individual basis as required.

If the client has been mandated to attend the clinic, then missing days may jeopardize completion requirements and prevent further admission. This will be discussed on an individual basis.