The Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorder Using Prolonged Exposure
The COPE program is a free service that offers treatment to women with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and problematic alcohol and other drug use.
Staffed by specially trained psychologists, this program is an integration of two evidence based therapies: cognitive behavioural therapy and prolonged exposure.
Treatment consists of 12 weekly individual sessions of 90 minutes duration. Sessions include education/skills development around trauma and substance use, discussion and processing of traumatic memories and between session exercises.
The COPE program is available to women aged 25 or older with current PTSD symptoms and problematic substance use. Clients must be willing to reduce or cease their substance use and to travel safely to Richmond to complete sessions (sessions may be conducted via telehealth if required by COVID-19 restrictions at the time).
Clinicians who are involved in the ongoing care of a client (e.g. GP, case manager, care and recovery clinician) can refer them to the program using the form below.
The COPE program is not a suitable treatment for people who are unable to remember the traumatic events, or those unwilling to significantly reduce their alcohol or drug use. In addition, this program is not recommended for people experiencing the issues listed below where the person’s safety should be prioritized:
- Current high risk of suicidal behaviour and/or serious threat to the safety of others
- Serious self-harm (or suicide attempt) within the last three months
- Currently living under threat of violence or in a violent relationship
- Current psychosis or severe dissociative symptoms
- High level of substance dependence (may need to have completed medically supervised withdrawal before commencing treatment)
Please do not hesitate to call 8413 8413 to speak with one of the COPE clinicians if you unsure about whether to make a referral or need further information.