Trauma Care at the Intersection of Compassion and Innovation

Let us show you why McLean is a leader in the treatment of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders.

Trauma knows no boundaries. It affects people of every background, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, gender, sexual orientation, and so on.

Many children and adults can effectively process a traumatic incident and go on with their lives with little or no lasting negative effect, but for many individuals, psychological trauma may set in.

At McLean, we understand that trauma disorders and symptoms caused by traumatic events or experiences can be unique to the individual.

We provide tailored treatment, using tested methods, to ensure each patient can find relief with care that works for them.

If you or a loved one is struggling with the aftermath of a trauma, McLean is here to help. Call us today at 617.855.3100 to learn more about treatment options.

Exceptional Care, Exceptional Outcomes

At McLean Hospital, we provide world-class care for trauma and trauma-related disorders, such as PTSD and dissociative disorders.

Our experts deliver cutting-edge treatments proven to have success for individuals who struggle with the effects of psychological trauma.

Our clinicians and researchers also conduct innovative research into the causes of these conditions and provide robust education for patients and families and the broader community.

Alongside comprehensive diagnostic assessments and specialty consultations, our programs offer individual and group therapy, personalized treatment planning, and robust aftercare recommendations, proven behavioral therapies, and medication evaluation and management.

Our inpatient and day program services for individuals struggling with the effects of childhood abuse or other traumatic events maintain a strong reputation for their balanced emphasis on stabilization and healing. We also offer outpatient care for an array of trauma symptoms and diagnoses.

Trauma Care at a Glance

Evidence-Based Care

Trauma treatment focuses on cutting-edge methodologies proven by research to be effective.


At admission, each patient receives a thorough evaluation to inform the creation of a customized care plan.

Group Therapy

Patients participate in our robust group therapy program which promotes skills development.

Medication Consultation

When indicated, medication can be an important tool for recovery. Patients meet with a psychiatrist as needed.

Support and Education

Our daily educational curriculum promotes prolonged recovery. Resources are available for patients and their loved ones.

Consultation Services

Patients benefit from specialty services available at McLean and throughout our partner hospitals.

Putting Your Needs First

McLean has developed a model of treatment that is highly sensitive to the needs of trauma survivors.

Emphasis is placed on the overall psychological health and functioning of the individual and not simply on identifying and working on trauma-related symptoms.

Care focuses on respect and collaboration, interpersonal relationships, patient education, and healing.

Given the highly chaotic and disrupted early environments of many trauma survivors, we emphasize the need for patients to develop solid relational skills and control of symptoms before embarking on the exploration and emotional processing of traumatic experiences.

Patients are encouraged to acknowledge and deal with their traumatic history while maintaining control, safety, and functioning.

Patients receive help in gaining control over their own experiences so that they can proceed in treatment without being re-traumatized by the intense feelings and experiences that invariably arise throughout treatment.

Our staff emphasizes empathy, compassion, collaboration, and empowerment throughout the treatment process.

What Is Stage-Based Trauma Treatment?

Many of McLean’s treatment programs utilize this evidence-based approach to psychological trauma recovery.

This three-stage model supports the healing process of people who struggle with a combination of problems related to unwanted, abusive, or traumatic experiences in their past. Judith Herman, MD, pioneered stage-based trauma treatment via her book, “Trauma and Recovery.”

In the first stage of treatment, setting treatment goals and managing emotions, patients find a road map of the healing process. From there, they set treatment goals and learn about helpful approaches to reaching those goals.

As part of their journey, patients work to establish safety and stability in their body, their relationships, and other aspects of life. They tap into their inner strengths and resources, while they hone skills for managing painful experiences.

Group therapy

McLean’s robust group therapy programming supports individuals as they build skills to manage their illnesses, learn more about their symptoms, and find ways to cope in their everyday lives

After patients establish a solid foundation of understanding, stability, and self-regulation skills, they can decide—mindful of the emotional and psychological work involved—whether or not to engage in stage two. Some people only require stage one, while others need to continue working through the next stages.

The second stage of recovery and treatment is often referred to as “remembrance and mourning” or trauma-processing.

In this stage, patients review and discuss memories to lessen the memories’ emotional intensity. As part of this process, they work through grief about unwanted experiences and the negative effects these experiences have had on their life.

At the same time, they mourn the good experiences they did not have, but that all children deserve. They find more adaptive ways of thinking about themselves, other people, and the world.

The third stage of recovery focuses on reconnecting with people, meaningful activities, and other aspects of life. Not everyone needs or wants this stage of treatment, though many find it helpful. This is stage of treatment often involves weekly therapy sessions.

PTSD Screening

Online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

What Is DBT?

Another therapy that has been proven to help individuals who struggle with trauma and related disorders is called dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT.

DBT is a form of cognitive behavior therapy—skills-based therapies that teach people to connect their actions and thoughts.

DBT emphasizes the development of four skill sets: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.

Mindfulness practice involves increasing self-awareness by learning to focus on one’s experience of the present moment.

A combination of cognitive behavioral techniques and mindfulness principles are employed to help people gain better control over their behaviors and to allow for a different way of managing intense feelings.

There are several forms of DBT customized to treat trauma disorders, especially PTSD. For example, DBT+prolonged exposure (DBT+PE) helps patients stop avoidance and instead confront trauma-related thoughts and situations using therapeutic strategies to effectively process the trauma.

McLean recognizes the importance of skills-based therapies like DBT in teaching patients to learn to manage their symptoms throughout their lives. DBT is incorporated into patient care plans when appropriate and customized to meet the needs of the individual.

Specialized Services for First Responders

For frontline workers, stress springs from the nature of the job itself. Many emergency responders and frontline workers feel compelled to respond to the call to action at the expense of the self.

Emergency responders often have trouble striking a healthy balance between pressure-filled jobs and their personal lives, resulting in difficulties at home and work. They often think it is a sign of weakness if they are unable to manage the effects of their job and are reluctant to seek help when they need it.

McLean Hospital understands that police, active military, and other first responders and frontline workers endure unique on-duty and personal stresses and also face many obstacles in seeking help.

Our LEADER (Law Enforcement, Active Duty, Emergency Responder) program is proud to provide specialized mental health and addiction services, designed specifically for men and women in uniform.

Patient gestures with hands

First responders, frontline workers, and those in uniform aren’t the only people to experience psychological trauma, but they are exposed to traumatic events more than most individuals

If you work on the front lines and are feeling the effects of trauma, the first step in seeking help may be the most difficult.

Knowing that you are not alone and that there are treatments available to build resilience to trauma is important. This is key not only to your recovery, but also to let your fellow first responders know that seeking help is perfectly normal.

Learn more about LEADER’s specialty mental health services for emergency responders and frontline workers.

Supporting the Reality of DID

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is not what you think it is. Patients with DID do not put on different hats, speak in different accents, or display different mannerisms. The thought that they would is a byproduct of misinformed popular beliefs and media.

During a traumatic experience, one way a person can cope is to dissociate or compartmentalize the experience into another level of awareness. By doing this, one can move through life, to a certain extent, without constant reminders of distressing events.

Experts at McLean work to dispel the myths of the realities of DID to encourage those who struggle with the disorder to seek help. Our world-class treatment for people with dissociative identity disorder helps individuals face their past traumas and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Do you or a loved one struggle with dissociative identity disorder? Call us today at 617.855.3100 to learn more about treatment options.

We Are Here to Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with the effects of trauma, contact us today to learn about our treatment options.