Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has many sides, and the best approach to coping with it is multi-faceted. Our program combines specially trained PTSD service dogs with a Trauma Resiliency Program and life-skills training meant to complement the veteran’s ongoing therapy program.
We get to know each veteran in our program, and how PTSD affects him or her. Do they have nightmares? Anxiety? Physical limitations? What are their stressors? We select a dog based on the individual veteran’s psychological, physical and social needs. And we train the service dog and the veteran together as a unique team.
We’ve built a reliable dog-training program over many years. We want to see more PTSD service dogs paired with the veterans who need them. So, we launched our PTSD Service Dog Trainer Academy. We teach our process to professional dog trainers so This Able Veteran can help more veterans all over the country.
During our 3-week Trauma Resiliency Program, our veterans work and bond with their PTSD service dogs. We teach them how to face trauma triggers, and how to rely on their PTSD service dog for assistance. Our dogs are trained to react to anxiety levels in their veteran partners, and to be reliable tools to reduce anxiety.
We believe in our program because we’ve seen it work. But we want proof. Clinical Outcomes Group, and Southern Illinois University’s psychology department measured PTSD symptoms in our veterans before This Able Veteran training, during training, one and six months post-graduation. The study shows significant improvement in symptoms of depression, anxiety and anger.