At UC Davis Behavioral Health Center, we have been offering a trauma recovery program called RESTART (Resilience, Education and Supportive Tools for Adults Recovering from Trauma) since 2018. The RESTART program has been co-founded by Dr. Caroline Giroux and Dr. Andrés Sciolla, two psychiatrists with an expertise in trauma.
With its dynamic psychiatric team, RESTART has been offering trauma-informed assessments, pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy to people presenting trauma-related symptoms. Our program includes two group experiences.
The RESTART group is a mini-class format or curriculum that guides up to 8-10 participants over 12 weekly sessions of 90 min and is a DBT-like (Dialetival Behavior Therapy), holistic approach to empower survivors of trauma and buffer isolation by incorporating mindfulness practices, a mini-didactic presentation on a trauma-related topic, inspirational and supportive group processing and exchange of ideas.
The "Reboot your Narrative" therapy is for a group of 4 to 6 people using experiential and discovery approaches for a duration of 8 to 12 weeks during which participants explore storytelling while developing a piece (poetry, essay, gratitude list etc) from a proposed prompt. This mindfulness, "co-journaling" exercise is meant to edit and reframe the trauma narrative to transcend the experience and heal by reclaiming one 's own voice.
Most patients we encounter have experienced developmental trauma and revictimization throughout their lives. Besides ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), some people report intimate partner violence, workplace harassment, discrimination, physical/sexual assaults, accidental injuries, religious trauma, iatrogenic or institutional (including incarceration) trauma, gun violence, war-related trauma, environmental loss and trauma (fire), and invalidation trauma. Our services are meant to offer a compassionate, listening presence to each person, detect the impact of trauma, encourage the emergence of self-awareness by naming the emotional experience, and access or development to resilience tools.
Through a sense of community and mutual support, patients counteract their sense of aloneness and helplessness; they have the opportunity to join their voices by telling stories of shared vulnerability and humanness, discover strength and courage from allowing their sense of fragility, process feelings of grief and shame, regulate their stress response systems, identify their adaptation mechanisms (including dissociation), step out of the victim role, and feel empowered and thrive.
It is never too late to start a healing journey, develop one's potential, reconnect with dreams, and live life to the fullest. Our RESTART team is dedicated to help you redefine yourself by supporting you in becoming the author of your story and the main protagonist, or hero, of your life.