Trauma Bloc Therapy

Trauma Bloc treatment for PTSD at the Delray Center

The Delray Center for Healing offers unique trauma-specific programming, designed to greatly enhance and improve the long-term benefits and outcomes of trauma resolution therapy. From years of working high-acuity trauma cases, the clinical team at the Delray Center understands how debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can be. Those exposed to traumatic events often re-experience the same trauma over and over again. This occurs through flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and profound feelings of guilt. Left untreated, PTSD can severely disrupt daily functioning. Even with the increased awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder, there is still a lack of truly comprehensive trauma treatment. This need for better PTSD care is what led to the development of the Delray Center’s Trauma Bloc Program.

Trauma Bloc Therapy at the Delray Center

The Trauma Bloc treatment track at the Delray Center consists of 12-16 weeks of clinical programming, broken into 8 week increments. Trauma Bloc is structured similar to our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) but includes even more individualized services. Trauma Bloc Therapy is a major modification and enhancement of Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET), an established form of PTSD treatment.

Each ”trauma bloc” is a carefully planned and timed therapeutic sequence. The blocs themselves are 4-hour sequences completed once weekly. The first step in the sequence is an individual trauma therapy session utilizing PET and facilitated by a trained trauma therapist. This is followed by natural physiologic excitation through specialized physical exercise sessions, then a rapid physiologic deceleration phase. The bloc is completed with an individual meditation session, to complete the processing and “cooling off” period. Clients engage in 8-10 Trauma Bloc sessions during the course of a 12-16 week outpatient program. Clients participating in the Trauma Bloc treatment program undergo 4-6 weeks of foundational clinical work in our trauma PHP program. This preparation phase includes physical training, individual therapy sessions, individual DBT skills sessions, and pre-exposure trauma therapy sessions.

Overall Trauma Bloc programming also includes:

  • Individual process therapy
  • Individual DBT skills therapy
  • Psychiatric care
  • Pre-exposure trauma therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • IV vitamin infusion therapy
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Personal training
  • SAFE Programming with DCH Director of Fitness
  • Yoga

The Science behind Trauma Bloc Therapy

PTSD treatment has long been hampered by gaps in our knowledge of how trauma affects the brain. But over time, our understanding of how the brain is impacted by traumatic experiences has increased, leading to new breakthroughs in how we treat both trauma and PTSD. We now know that traumatic stress can have long-term affects on certain areas of the brain, including the amygdala, which governs emotional responses. Trauma Bloc Therapy at the Delray Center is specifically designed to target the amygdala, the part of the brain that controls fear and anxiety.

Trauma Bloc therapy utilizes Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET), an emotionally intense form of therapy that intentionally activates the amygdala region in the brain. In the case of PTSD sufferers, the emotions felt when the amygdala is activated are predominantly fear, so that clients experience the equivalent of a trauma response, only in a controlled environment and under the care of trained professionals. The excitation of the amygdala is then maximized through natural physiologic excitation like a specialized exercise session. The amygdala hyper-excitation phase is immediately followed by a rapid deceleration phase, which depresses the amygdala while also activating the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex (vmPFC). Whereas the amygdala is tied to irrational emotional expression, the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex is one of the most advanced parts of the brain, responsible for processing emotions and decision-making. Stimulation of the vmPFC is essential for processing emotional traumas, and Trauma Bloc therapy assists in moving brain activity from the unhealthy amygdala region to the healthy vmPFC region. The net effect is a substantially improved response to trauma therapy and significantly great PTSD symptom resolution.

The ultimate objective of the Delray Center’s Trauma Bloc program is the resolution of both long-term and short-term symptoms of PTSD

Trauma Bloc sessions are complemented by Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychopharmacology, meditation, exercise therapy, and vitamin therapy. Anyone interested in participating in the Delray Center’s Trauma Bloc program are encouraged to schedule a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation to start the healing process from severe post-traumatic stress.