Battle Creek VA Medical Center
PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program
The PTSD RRTP is a 26-bed program designed to assist Veterans in learning to live successfully with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Private and safe accommodations are available for Women Veterans. PTSD affects many areas of a Veteran’s life and each area is addressed within the context of the program. Recovery-oriented goals are identified by each Veteran and problematic areas such as guilt, intrusions, avoidance, anger, and substance abuse are addressed within the context of achieving those goals. The program offers an intensive treatment approach in which Veterans attend therapeutic activities on a daily basis. Treatment modules aim to improve areas of daily life through group therapy and skill-training modules.
An initial course of treatment emphasizes evaluation, education, and many coping skills. Veterans may then transition directly into the trauma processing phase of treatment. Evidence Based Treatments such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure (PE), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CPT-I) are utilized.
Timothy DeJong, PhD, ABPP
(269) 966-5600 Ext. 31125
For general program information, call (269) 966-5600, Ext. 35355 or Ext. 33595.
What is PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults such as rape. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD.
People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares, intrusive thoughts and flashbacks. They may have difficulty sleeping, experience increased anger and irritability, have an inability to relax, experience high anxiety and/or panic attacks, and have startle response. They may feel detached or estranged and avoid reminders of their traumatic experiences. PTSD is marked by biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. Many people with PTSD experience guilt, depression, physical/health problems, concentration and memory problems and substance abuse. These symptoms can impair the person's ability to function in social or family life; this can include occupational, interpersonal, emotional, and spiritual difficulties.
PTSD is not a new disorder. There are descriptions of similar symptoms that go back to ancient times, and there is clear documentation in the medical literature starting with the Civil War, when a PTSD-like disorder, "soldier’s heart", was discussed. Although the disorder has had different names over the years (shell shock, combat fatigue), the basic description of difficulties was similar.
PTSD has been observed in all Veteran populations that have been studied, including World War II, Korean conflict, and Persian Gulf populations, and in United Nations peacekeeping forces deployed to other war zones around the world. There are similar findings of PTSD in military veterans in other countries.
Residential PTSD treatment
The residential PTSD program offers an intensive treatment program in which Veterans attend treatment activities on a daily basis while residing on Ward 14-2. A variety of symptoms may be experienced by Veterans with PTSD including anxiety, guilt, anger, and intrusive memories. Symptoms may cause long-term disrupting effects in major areas of life including social, psychological, vocational, and family adjustment. Treatment is aimed at helping Veterans cope with trauma, learn more adaptive ways to cope with current problems, and learn to feel and think better about themselves. This program is designed to address the emotional, social, occupational, and family consequences of PTSD and to help Veterans develop effective coping skills. Veterans are expected to attend all treatment activities throughout the week. Evening activities are also available
Integrated Recovery Treatment
The initial phase of treatment – known as Integrated Recovery Treatment (IRT) – is for Veterans with PTSD with or without co-occurring substance use disorders. IRT utilizes a rolling admission process and provides Veterans the opportunity to establish a stable foundation of recovery from PTSD and co-occurring difficulties such as substance use and other mental health disorders. Following a thorough assessment, the focus of IRT is on the acquisition of skills to support recovery from emotional, behavioral, and psychosocial issues that represent personal barriers to success. IRT includes STAIR modules and other cognitive-behavioral approaches including relapse prevention skills. IRT will requires approximately six weeks (approximately 42 days) to complete. Veterans who desire an Evidence-Based Psychotherapy (EBP) and are assessed as appropriate for a trauma focused therapy will not necessarily have to complete the full six weeks of IRT prior to beginning and EBP, but may begin an EBP cohort within a few weeks of admission.
Evidence-Based Psychotherapies (EBPs)
For Veterans who are interested in EBP and for whom an EBP is appropriate, Veterans transition into group based Cognitive Processing Therapy or Group based Prolonged Exposure. Both CPT and Group PE meet twice weekly for six weeks, and are offered in a combined group and individual format. Individual Prolonged Exposure (PE) as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia may be available on a limited, case by case basis.
Cognitive Processing Therapy is a 12 session, group based treatment in which Veterans examine the impact of the traumatic event on their lives and particularly on how they think about their trauma. As treatment progresses, Veterans learn to challenge and change their thinking about the impact of their military trauma in order to pursue their personal Recovery goals. In Group PE, Veterans learn to directly confront memories and activities which they have learned to avoid in order to pursue their personal Recovery goals.
Goals of the Program
- To help the Veteran with assessment and evaluation of identifiable problems areas.
- To help relieve acute psychological distress.
- To help facilitate self-understanding and mutual support.
- To reduce self-defeating behavior patterns and develop more effective ways of thinking and behaving.
- To develop a balanced lifestyle (i.e. social, family, recreational, vocational aspects).
- To help restore the Veteran to a maximum level of functioning.
- To return the Veteran to the community and social support system, including appropriate outpatient follow-up and aftercare.
For information about outpatient treatment of combat at the Battle Creek VAMC PTSD - please see
Battle Creek VA Medical Center
Building 14, Second Floor
- 269-966-5600 Ext. 35355
- 269-966-5600 Ext. 33595
Hours of Operation
- 24 hours a day, Seven days a week