Promises Treatment Centers Partners with Renowned Trauma Expert Dr. Christine Courtois

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Complex trauma specialist Christine A. Courtois, PhD, partners with Promises Treatment Centers as its National Clinical Trauma Consultant.

I look forward to working with the clinicians at Promises to more comprehensively address these issues.

Promises Treatment Centers welcomes trauma specialist Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP, as its National Clinical Trauma Consultant. In this role, Dr. Courtois will enhance the ability of Promises’ treatment team to deliver clinically sophisticated, trauma-informed care.

Dr. Courtois is a leading authority in the treatment of trauma, having worked in this area for over 30 years. She specializes in the treatment of complex trauma, or experiences that are deliberately caused by other people such as abuse, violence or exploitation. She has published three books on this topic in the last several years, most recently, Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Scientific Foundations and Therapeutic Models (2013), Treating Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-based Approach (2013), and Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders: An Evidence-based Guide (2009). Her original book, Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy, first published in 1988, was extensively revised and updated in 2010. Her next book, due early next year, is on the topic of trauma and spirituality.

Dr. Courtois is a Board Certified Counseling Psychologist with a doctorate from the University of Maryland. She has received international recognition for her work, including numerous awards from professional organizations and has published her work in a number of scientific journals. In addition to maintaining a private practice in Washington, DC, and training clinicians, Dr. Courtois is directing the development of guidelines for the treatment of complex trauma for three professional organizations and has been appointed chair of the American Psychological Association’s Guideline Development Panel for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She is past president of Division 56 (Psychological Trauma) of the APA and founding associate editor of its journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy.

“Dr. Courtois is an outstanding addition to the Promises team,” said Keith Arnold, Senior Vice President of Clinical Outreach, Marketing, and Strategic Development. “There is an emerging understanding in the field of the central role of trauma in the development and maintenance of addictions and other mental health issues. Drawing on her expertise and process, our clients and clinicians will be able to delve even deeper beneath the symptoms to address the underlying causes of addiction and self-defeating behaviors.”

As part of trauma-informed treatment, Dr. Courtois uses an integrative and relational approach and a sequenced model of care that includes the following stages of healing:

1)    Pre-treatment assessment and goal setting
2)    Early stage of safety, education, stabilization, skill-building and development of the treatment alliance
3)    Middle stage of trauma processing and resolution
4)    Late stage of self and relational development and life choice

Each stage, each with a number of treatment tasks, builds on the previous one, giving the trauma survivor a growing sense of control and mastery and counteracting the powerlessness he or she often feels.

“We know that trauma histories are common among people with addictions and that post-traumatic responses and adaptations can significantly contribute to relapse,” said Dr. Courtois. “I look forward to working with the clinicians at Promises to more comprehensively address these issues.”

Dr. Courtois will be onsite at Promises during designated times over the next year to provide specialized training on identifying trauma and providing compassionate, trauma-informed care. She will also be speaking nationally for Promises to train clinicians in the use of her trauma model.

“Sometimes people who have trauma histories or symptoms of post-traumatic stress get blamed or stigmatized for their symptoms rather than understood,” said Dr. Courtois. “At Promises, clients will receive treatment that is respectful and compassionate, and that offers healing, connections and hope.”

About Promises Treatment Centers

Promises Treatment Centers in Malibu and West Los Angeles are the premier addiction treatment centers in Southern California. Led by some of the nation’s leading addiction specialists, Promises has built an international reputation for innovative addiction treatment and exceptional service. Whether an individual requires detox, residential drug rehab, outpatient treatment, extended care or a sober living environment, Promises has been a drug rehabilitation center of choice for more than 25 years. For more information about Promises Treatment Centers, visit http://www.promises.com or call (877) 351-7506.

Promises Treatment Centers is part of Elements Behavioral Health, a family of behavioral health care programs that also includes The Recovery Place, Spirit Lodge and Right Step. Elements offers comprehensive, innovative treatment for substance abuse, sexual addiction, trauma, eating disorders and other mental health disorders. We are committed to delivering clinically sophisticated treatment that promotes permanent lifestyle change, not only for the patient but for the entire family system. For more information about Elements Behavioral Health, visit http://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com.

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Keith Arnold

Dr. David Sack
@ElementsBHealth
since: 10/2011
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