Driving Best-In-Class Care for Veteran Clients and Their Families: Clinical Partnerships at SonderMind

Friday, September 22 2023

At SonderMind, we’re redesigning mental and behavioral health by improving access, utilization, and outcomes. As part of that effort, we work with partners who share the same commitment to improving access to care and outcomes in mental health care. 

That’s why we’ve partnered with the National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) and PsychArmor  — organizations that align with our mission of delivering culturally competent care to all of our clients.  As a company founded by a veteran, SonderMind is dedicated to ensuring that our clinicians have the training and resources they need to serve the unique needs of those who have served our country and their families. 

Read on to learn more about how this partnership helps SonderMind clinicians deliver quality care, and how you can integrate answers to some common questions into your practice.

A partnership aligned in clinical best practices

SonderMind’s clinical strategy is rooted in the gold standard for evidence-based care — clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). CPGs are evidence-based recommendations on how to diagnose and treat an identified clinical challenge or mental health condition. As an evidence-based organization, SonderMind is aligned with CPGs in the diagnostic areas of anxiety, depression, and PTSD for all ages and for treatment provided to veteran clients.

The NCPTSD is ​​a leading research and educational center focused on PTSD and traumatic stress. PsychArmor is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader that provides military cultural awareness training to those who serve members of the military-connected family. Both NCPTSD and PsychArmor provide educational resources that align with clinical practice guidelines and SonderMind’s clinical strategy. Our partnership with these organizations enables SonderMind clinicians to best serve clients’ mental health needs through:

  • Education and training to provide best-in-class services that are aligned with clinical best practices
  • Consultation calls and events to connect with experts and peers and expand knowledge
  • Courses to enhance clinician skills in providing clinically- and culturally-competent care to military-involved and veteran clients

FAQs: Screening and treatment recommendations

In 2022, over 400 SonderMind clinicians attended NCPTSD and PsychArmor courses and events to further their professional development and help drive better outcomes through the delivery of high-quality, evidence-based care. 

Here are three of the most common questions asked at these events and practice recommendations shared by the expert facilitators.

1. What is the top recommended treatment for veterans diagnosed with PTSD? What helps them get better?

There are some helpful resources known as clinical practice guidelines specific to Veterans Affairs that cover what are considered the “gold standard” treatments for veterans. The research that underlies the clinical practice guidelines for working with veterans strongly recommend individual manualized trauma-informed psychotherapy over pharmacological interventions for treatment of PTSD. The top recommended treatments are Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE). Other models such as EMDR and written exposure therapy can be effective in treating PTSD in veteran clients.

Encouraging clients to participate in collaborative treatment planning is key. Before starting treatment with a veteran who has been diagnosed with PTSD, it is recommended to engage in shared decision-making discussions to ensure the client understands the recommended treatment. 

2. What is a good screening tool to use when meeting with new veteran clients to rule in or rule out PTSD?

The PCL-5 is widely used in many organizations. The Trauma Symptom Questionnaire is another possible measure. 

Using any PTSD screening measure should be followed up by a clinical interview as part of client assessment. A screening measure is just that. While it can suggest your veteran client is experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress, a structured interview or assessment is necessary. The Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-5 (SCID PTSD Module) or the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5) are both good tools, however the CAPS-5 is considered the gold standard for assessment. The CAPS-5 training with the NCPTSD is free and one of the most comprehensive. The CAPS-5 can be used with veterans and civilians who have experienced trauma.

3. What are some interventions for a client who has PTSD associated with a military sexual assault?

Military sexual trauma (MST) refers to sexual assault or sexual harassment experienced during military service. Veterans of all genders and from all types of backgrounds have experienced MST. Psychotherapy is often recommended to address the effects of the MST, as well as other concerns that can also be occurring, such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. See the VA website for clinician resources for MST.

Delivering high-quality, evidence-based care with SonderMind

At SonderMind, we’re focused on delivering high-quality, measurement-based care tailored to the individual needs of military-involved clients and their families. To that end, we offer our clinicians access to the latest resources and training through our unique partnerships with organizations that align with our clinical strategy grounded in evidence-based practices.

Learn more about how you can join thousands of mental health clinicians changing the way people access, receive, and participate in their care. 

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