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Today is PTSD Awareness Day. But have you heard of post-traumatic growth?by The Locastro Brothers

WATCH |  PTSD patients experience post-traumatic growth (PTG) in the recovery process. 

Boulder Crest Retreat

In the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains you'll find Boulder Crest Retreat. This non-profit helps combat veterans learn to achieve post-traumatic growth.

The method

Boulder Crest developed Warrior PATHH, which stands for Progressive and Alternative Training for Healing Heroes. This is the first full scale implementation of the PTG model. Dr. Rich Tedeschi describes PTG as “the positive change that people report in the aftermath of a struggle with traumatic life events.”

The Pentagon acknowledges PTG

PTG has received some high profile recognition. Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke about it at a veterans event in January. 

"Where you come out of a situation like that and you actually feel kinder toward your fellow man and fellow woman."

James Mattis, Defense Secretary

Warrior PATHH

Veterans coming to Boulder Crest for the Warrior PATHH program stay together in cabins to help build camaraderie. As a group they create a support system they can tap into when they return home. 

Participants learn wellness practices such as transcendental meditation, yoga, mindfulness, psychoeducation,  journaling, and gratitude practice. In all, the program last 18 months and includes follow-ups after completion.   

Dr. Bret Moore is studying the impact of the Warrior PATHH program. He says it's so effective that, “over the next decade I think you are going to see Warrior PATHH programs throughout the country.”    

Circa is making a documentary about the Boulder Crest Retreat. It follows a group of combat veterans as they learn what post-traumatic growth is, and how it can transform their lives in the wake of trauma.