Overcoming PTSD

Lisbet, a client of Catholic Charities’ Mental Health program for over a year, is working to overcome challenges with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  She recently came into the office extremely upset and scared.  Her fear was triggered by an atmosphere of increased immigration enforcement.  Lisbet not only feared for her community, but also for herself as the threat of deportation to Honduras and family separation loomed even greater.

To treat Lisbet’s PTSD, Catholic Charities introduced a sensory-based therapy solution.  This allowed Lisbet to create a safe haven, using her senses to amplify this space as an internal resource, and pair it with a cue word to help access it for emotional control whenever needed.

Lisbet’s safe haven is her church, seated in front of an image of Christ.  In this sanctuary, she is able to smell the candles and flowers at the altar, feel the cool floor underneath her feet, see the tears on Christ’s cheeks, and extend her hand to Him.  Being here assures her that Christ is with her and always will be to protect her and her family.  Lisbet chose a cue word for her haven – “paz”, to reflect the “peace” of connecting with God’s presence.

Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio’s mission is to serve families in Greater Cincinnati.  We serve in many ways, but with a focus on Local Family Health.  In 2018, these life changing services were received by local families:

  • Healthcare Screening – 824 individuals served
  • Healthcare Home Relationships created – 874 individuals served
  • Health Fair Participants referred medical services – 3,079 individuals
  • Mental Health Counseling – 1,038 individuals / 5,418 sessions

This Summer, please reflect on Matthew 9:35:

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

Mental Health counseling continues to be a cornerstone of Catholic Charities’ mission in Local Family Health.


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