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A cure for post-traumatic stress in veterans


Renée Bertrand is a veteran. For over 19 years, she served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a medical technician. In 2004, she was sent to Kabul, Afghanistan to work in a clinic run by the military. She saw the wounded parading there.

When asked how she experienced this professional chapter, she says she prefers do not go into detailsbut speaks of an experience that has much upset inside.

After a mission like that, you don’t entirely come home. We come back physically, that’s for sure. But all the emotions, all the upheavals that we have experienced, it changes a person. »

A quote from Renée Bertrand, veteran
Renée Bertrand poses for the camera in a field.

The report by Mathieu Papillon

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Mathieu Papillon

It was physical injuries that later ended his military service. But the more the weeks passed, the more the psychological scar revealed itself. When I left, I no longer knew who I wassays Renee. I was lost, I didn’t know what was going on with me. I was not feeling well.

It was then that the need for a consultation arose. The ranch of psychologist Caroline LeBlanc, who relies on equine therapy, was quickly recommended to her. Nearly 75% of ranch clients Serene View are veterans or first responders.

The horse is an animal of preyexplains Caroline LeBlanc. So he always sees danger and is constantly in a state of hypervigilance. Our clients who suffer from post-traumatic stress are also always in states of hypervigilance. When they meet the horse, the latter wants to be in a state of calm. The customer must therefore calm down as well.

Caroline LeBlanc poses for the camera in a field.

Caroline LeBlanc is a psychologist and owner of the Serene View Ranch in Prince Edward Island.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Mathieu Papillon

After four years of consultations, Renée Bertrand can confirm that equine therapy works with her. It’s hard to explain for someone who has never experienced itshe admits. We develop a connection and a relationship with the horse. And with that, we learn to know ourselves better and to heal.

Ukraine and rekindled trauma

Two horses in a paddock.

All of the horses at Serene View Ranch can be used for equine therapy sessions.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Mathieu Papillon

For those who have experienced the war first-hand, images of the armed conflict in Ukraine can bring old traumas to the surface. This is what Renée Bertrand experienced. Don’t even need to hear the sound of bomb threatsshe says. triggers.”,”text”:”Just seeing the flashing lights on TV, you hear the sound in your head. It brings back triggers.”}}’>Just by seeing the flashing lights on TV, you hear the sound in your head. It brings back triggers.

These feelings seem to be generalized among veterans, Caroline LeBlanc observed.

Since Afghanistan, I had not observed a reaction like that among veterans. We notice a big difference with our customers. It shakes everyone. »

A quote from Caroline LeBlanc, psychologist and ranch owner Serene View

Several of his clients have also felt the urge to return to the front since the start of the war in Ukraine. Renée Bertrand did not escape it.: \”When are we leaving?\””,”text”:”My first reaction was: \”When are we leaving?\””}}’>My first reaction was, “When are we leaving?”she says. That’s the autopilot on board. This is not necessarily the right reaction to have.

But fortunately, equine therapy helps him stay the course on his new priorities. The horse helps me stay hereexplains Renee. He helps me focus on my recovery, stay mentally present here, and feel away from the military world. This is what I want.

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