Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 23rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

New Nonprofit Targets PTSD

news2Bridging Warriors seeks to improve PTSD treatment options locally

Soquel resident Karen Egan witnessed firsthand how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) changes lives.

Her 26-year-old son Ben Rudolph developed PTSD after surviving a major car accident eight years ago that left him with severe injuries. In the months following the accident, he and Egan visited more than 20 doctors across the country. It wasn't until almost a year after the accident that Rudolph developed PTSD, which the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says is characterized by flashbacks, tension, and emotional numbness.

Through her son’s experience, Egan says she realized just how important treatment was for living with this condition but how hard it was to find good resources. The incident gave her a window into a disorder that 3.5 percent of the adult population faces, according to the NIMH, and, as a result, she became concerned for local military veterans she knew fell disproportionately into this category.

“Early identification and intervention are key to healing, and most often for combat veterans, this isn’t the case,” says Egan, who began volunteering at the Resource Center for Nonviolence in 2011. “It was obvious in this community that veterans were the most impacted group of individuals with PTSD.”

Veterans in Santa Cruz County—a population that totals around 13,200, according to the Census Bureau—have access to local resources such as the Santa Cruz County Veterans Center in Capitola and Veteran Advocate Services, which is open every Wednesday and provides employment services and medical outreach to about 50 veterans per week.

But Egan felt there was something missing when it came to PTSD treatment. Last summer, she decided to do something about this. The result is Bridging Warriors, a nonprofit she founded that aims to help veterans, PTSD victims, and their families cope with this condition through free medical evaluations, ayurvedic treatment, group counseling, and various body/mind awareness modalities. The nonprofit will operate out of the RCNV and kicks off on Thursday, March 7 with a 10 a.m. Intu-flow class.

The organization was modeled after Connect Warriors, a successful program on the East Coast that offers free yoga classes to veterans, service members, and their families. Egan took the concept a few steps further by incorporating the volunteer services of a yoga teacher, doctor and psychologist in order to create what she calls comprehensive mind and body treatments.

Tim Woods, a licensed clinical social worker and psychologist, has been working with veterans’ groups since the 1970s, and will be providing therapy for participants of Bridging Warriors.

news2-2Before he can facilitate group therapy, Woods will individually screen participants with PTSD through four or five one-on-one sessions to get a sense of how they will fit in with the rest of the group.

“The first stage of every group is trust,” says Woods. “When you have that trust and you have that honest connection with people, they can go in deeper.”

Paul Hoffman, M.D, who offers both standard Western allopathic medicine and ayurvedic herbal treatments, will be providing medical consultations for Bridging Warriors on Mondays. He says that his role will be to identify holistic or traditional medical options for treating participants’ PTSD. 

“Anything that can be done to clarify the cause of the pain and a solution to deal with it in a healthy way is useful tool,” says Hoffman.

Matt Harris, a certified TacFit instructor, will be leading sessions of therapeutic yoga, Intu-flow, tai chi, meditation, and other healing modalities for Bridging Warriors. Harris, whose mother was wheelchair bound and underwent years of physical therapy, found that Intu-Flow, which is a complete “rewiring” of the brain’s circuitry, helped her the most. He hopes that he can use what he’s learned to help others and change their lives for the better.

Rudolph notes that the modalities used in Bridging Warriors, specifically yoga and meditation, have personally helped him overcome his PTSD.

“The end goal [with] these practices is to be completely free of suffering,” Rudolph says.

Although she was unsure about how many people would turn out for the group’s first yoga class, on March 7, Egan says the effort has had an overwhelming response from interested volunteers so far. She adds that what they now need the most from the Santa Cruz community are donations, promotion, and, most importantly, interest from the veteran community.

“The biggest challenge for the success of Bridging Warriors is getting the word out to those who could benefit from the program,” says Egan. “Often, these people are isolated. Through the media, partnering with other like-minded groups, and fundraising events, the word will spread.”

Bridging Warriors intends to eventually offer services every weekday, and plans to host quarterly events to raise money and awareness. Initially, Bridging Warriors will be open all day Mondays, with the Intu-Flow class held every Thursday.

“I want participants of Bridging Warriors to come away with a sense of peace,” says Egan. “We are hoping to reach out to those who need help, and make participants feel comfortable.” 


To learn more about Bridging Warriors, visit the Bridging Warriors Facebook page or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Comments (3)Add Comment
Homeopathy Institute of the Pacific, Executive Director
written by Renita Herrmann, March 08, 2013
We've been successfully helping vets for years, with PTSD and (m)TBI, up until recently for free. Panic attacks and explosive anger disappear almost immediately. If you are a veteran, listen to your loved ones if they tell you that you need help! Often those with PTSD can't see the problem. Seek out a local homeopath that knows about PTSD, or please ask for a referral.
PTSD confidential online therapy
written by jeff eastman, March 08, 2013
There's a website, PTSDSTRESS.COM that has an anonymous interactive computer program that reduces the symptoms of PTSD for the user. Developed in part by an NIH PTSD researcher/ doctor, the site uses eye movement. It's confidential, costs $10 per session and accepts credit cards but does not require a cardholder name adding further confidentiality. It has been used by military and non-military for over 4 years.
PTSD confidential online therapy
written by jeff eastman, March 05, 2013
There's a website, PTSDSTRESS.COM that has an anonymous interactive computer program that reduces the symptoms of PTSD for the user. Developed in part by an NIH PTSD researcher/ doctor, the site uses eye movement. It's confidential, costs $10 per session and accepts credit cards but does not require a cardholder name adding further confidentiality. It has been used by military and non-military for over 4 years.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?