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Summer 2022 - Vaccines

PTSD: A Physician’s Perspective

Dr. Phil Baquie is a mental health professional who developed and teachesTactical Presilience training that provides proactive, preemptive and preventive training to help law enforcement andmilitary personnel defeat PTSD.

ORIGINALLY FROM Australia, Phil Baquie, PsyD, LPC, is a licensed mental health professional who specializes in working with law enforcement and military personnel. He has trained Army Special Forces personnel, Navy SEALs, U.S. Marshals and other federal and state law enforcement agents. Part of his passion comes from his own background in the military, law enforcement and private security contracting professions. He holds a master’s degree in counseling and a doctor of psychology degree, with advanced certifications in treating trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dr. Baquie serves as a board member at 22Zero, a nonprofit that specializes in alternative treatment options for PTSD.

BSTQ: What is PTSD?

Dr. Baquie: PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat or rape.

BSTQ: Tell us about your work with PTSD patients and the 22Zero nonprofit.

Dr. Baquie: My training is as a traditional licensed counselor, and I am also a certified clinical trauma professional. Of course, you can have all the letters after your name, but it’s my personal experience, including 12,000 hours working with patients, that has been most beneficial. I’ve seen the suffering people go through, and I wanted to find better treatment options for them. That’s how I connected with 22Zero. After learning about their treatment protocols, I developed my own program called Tactical Presilience, a program specifically for first responders.

BSTQ: What intrigued you about the 22Zero approach?

Dr. Baquie: I was conducting research for my Tactical Presilience program when I came across the work 22Zero is doing for veterans and first responders suffering with PTSD. After flying to Florida to observe a peer-to-peer training for law enforcement, I was astounded by the way police officers were being trained in this technique and were able to dramatically reduce traumatic symptoms in one session with two days of training. As a mental health professional with years of training, it was a real paradigm shift to see how these techniques were redefining the treatment of trauma. Since then, I have incorporated the treatment into my own practice with remarkable results. I continue to maintain a small caseload of patients at my clinics, and I now spend around 70 percent of my time developing, researching and teaching Tactical Presilience and consulting with 22Zero.

BSTQ: Why did you want to focus on preemptive trauma training?

Dr. Baquie: Many programs are reactive and help agencies deal with the weight of critical incidents after they occur; however, there is very little proactive and preemptive training that provides tools for first responders and military personnel prior to critical incidents occurring. Tactical Presilience training is the missing link to provide needed proactive, preemptive and preventive training for first responders and military. It equips their minds with practical tools they can use, so when critical incidents are experienced, they have the resources to deal with them.

BSTQ: How does the treatment approach at 22Zero differ from traditional PTSD treatment?

Dr. Baquie: The most common PTSD treatment is called exposure therapy; it has patients relive and talk through the trauma. It’s considered the gold standard, although more recent studies have begun to question actual success rates using this approach. The treatment protocol at 22Zero is called Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories Protocol, which utilizes powerful visualization techniques to help clients disassociate from the trauma.

BSTQ: What are common mispercep-tions about PTSD?

Dr. Baquie: In my experience, PTSD tends to be highly overdiagnosed. A trauma diagnosis does not always meet the criteria for PTSD. Temperament, personality and personal experience in childhood all influence whether a traumatic event leads to PTSD. Also, a controversial assumption is that PTSD is permanent. But, techniques like the ones we’re employing at 22Zero are helping people get their lives back. Studies are using biomarkers and brain mapping to document progress, and neuroscience is revealing insights about the ability of the brain to heal itself. Trauma does not need to be something someone is stuck with for life.

Trudie Mitschang
Trudie Mitschang is a contributing writer for BioSupply Trends Quarterly magazine.