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Canadian “Couples Overcoming PTSI Everyday” program garners international attention

Wounded Warriors Canada’s COPE (Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday) program has picked up international attention and now supports ill and injured Israel veterans, First Responders and their families.

After the formation of a partnership with NATAL, Israel’s trauma centre for victims of terror and war, Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) and COPE clinicians were invited to go to Israel to train a team of clinicians to aid the delivery of COPE.

After training concluded last week, a special event followed to commemorate the 20th anniversary of NATAL – Israel Trauma and Resiliency Centre.

For the last three years, Dr. Tim Black and his team have been developing the WWC COPE Program. He and his team collected evaluation research on the COPE program and presented their data at the Canadian Institute of Military and Veterans Health Research (CIMVHR) Annual Forum since 2015.

The Associate Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Victoria, Dr. Black, has also been working with the military and veteran community since 1998. Dr. Black was recently named a CIMVHR Research Fellow at CIMVHR Toronto 2017 for his part in establishing the COPE Program.

“We have been working with the military/veteran community for many years and we are proud that the WWC COPE Program has been able to fill a gap in support by including the families alongside the veteran in combating PTSD,” Dr. Black said in a press release issued by WWC. “It is exciting to be able to take what we have learned over the past three years at the University of Victoria and share it internationally with our colleagues working to support couples suffering from the impacts of PTSD in the home.”

The WWC COPE Program is a two-phase program. In the first phase, five couples struggling with PTSD, come together and work on their relationships together. The idea is for them to realize they are not alone by creating a small community of others dealing with the same injuries. Phase two is continued support for the six months that follow, involving three sessions a month over the phone to help solidify the newly learned skills.

NATAL was created in 1998, by Judith Yovel Recanati and the late Dr. Yossi Hadar. NATAL leads the way in the field of trauma and strengthens the resiliency of Israeli society through treatment, prevention, public awareness and research. WWC COPE shares what they’ve learned through their program with NATAL to help strengthen that resiliency within the Israeli society.

“NATAL is excited and grateful for the opportunity to cooperate with the WWC COPE to support veterans, first responders and their families. Learning and implementing this innovative and unique therapeutic model is a valuable tool in day-to-day treatment and support of relationships in the shadow of post-trauma. This program will help to enrich NATAL’s holistic approach in helping couples with post-trauma to heal and recover,” said Colonel (Res.) Orly Gal, Executive Director of NATAL in the press release.

Chris and Kathryn Linford, co-founders of COPE, said they are both humbled and honoured that NATAL has chosen to implement their program with NATAL’s organization. They hope to continue to work together and further develop their partnership.

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Miranda Brumwell

Miranda attended Niagara College in 2014, completing the two-year Journalism program. She currently resides in London, ON with her boyfriend and baby boy. In her spare time, Miranda enjoys reading, cooking, photography, watercolour painting and spending time with family and friends.

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