COPE Program or “COUPLES OVERCOMING PTSD EVERYDAY”
“COPE” or “Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday” is a new and innovative program that uses the power of the “group” to learn how to manage PTSD in the home. Treating the individual diagnosed with PTSD in isolation misses a major component on the path to better health and happier life.
COPE is sponsored by Wounded Warriors Canada, our founding National Funding Partner. From the initial presentation of the idea of COPE, they have offered their encouragement, support and generous funding of this initiative.
Ecoasis Land Development and The Bear Mountain Resort have provided incredible support to the COPE Program since the very first program delivery by providing their stunning location in Langford BC as the host location. Couples that come to COPE in BC enjoy a breathtaking environment, kind staff and elegant meals all contributed by this generous provider. We sincerely thank Ecoasis and Bear Mountain Resort for their ongoing support to the COPE Program.
Cope is a two phased program
Phase One consists of a five-day in house retreat gathering five couples at a resort to learn together about PTSD as well as new skills to help battle this injury as a team vice in isolation. This group is led by two Trauma Therapists as well as a support couple; together they help guide the new community to provide support to each other through the exercises, gaining from the personal and relationship experiences of each other. Each member of the couple becomes a “force multiplier” thus gaining significant new strength as a couple to move forward towards a healthier and happier life.
Phase Two consists of a six-month Family Coaching Model that employs weekly contact from the assigned coach who will guide each couple in the achievement of their goals set during phase one. This process continues the learning and practice of new skills helping to keep the couple focused and within their own environment where the tendency to resort to previous behaviours will be strong. The importance of the health of the family relative to the path of healing for the injured veteran has been acknowledged by the mental health community but has largely been ignored in terms of service delivery and programming; the COPE Program emphasis on the couple seeks to correct this issue. If you think you and your partner might benefit from COPE, please fill out the Initial Contact Form. Someone will respond to you shortly thereafter.
Thank you Chris Linford COPE Director
More about COPE: A Short History
The COPE program is the brain child of Chris and Kathryn Linford and co- founded by Dr Tim Black PhD, R Psych. Chris is a 33 year medically released veteran who has suffered with PTSD since 2004 after his return from Rwanda. Life in the Linford home became chaotic and angry. Chris hid his injury for a decade until he finally asked for and received care through the CAF. He was able to return to work and career but something wasn’t right. His home life remained angry and he struggled to sustain relationships with his wife Kathryn and their three children.
Years later and after an additional deployment to Afghanistan, Chris has reached an important milestone; he has learned how to be honest about his injury. He has learned that being vulnerable as a man does not degrade him as a man. He now owns his PTSD vice the other way around. How did he achieve this? He and his wife Kathryn discovered after his return from Kandahar that they needed each other to succeed at beating PTSD. They needed to get their relationship back on track if they were to survive. They worked at their communication skills. They tried hard to give each other a break and respect what the PTSD had done to them; not just Chris. Yes, PTSD had impacted their family greatly. Once this was recognized they were able to move forward with out shame and fear that often comes with PTSD. Chris was able to finally reconnect with his children after years of stand offish experiences. He took responsibility for his PTSD and what it did to him and how it made him act sometimes. It became all about who he wanted to be; not about who the PTSD made him be. COPE has evolved from much of that experience and was carefully crafted by a team of Psychologists, Dr Tim Black, Dr Paul Whitehead, and Dr Mike Dadson. These three therapist created the clinical piece of COPE that brings a unique group together to learn about PTSD and strategies to manage it better in the home. COPE does not treat PTSD nor is it couples counselling. COPE helps couples to manage the PTSD in their home so they have more energy to work on their PTSD with their regular therapist. As Chris and Kathryn found out; having their relationship on track gave them each additional energy as well a team approach to beating down PTSD.
In the year 2015, COPE was in trial to solidify the process for the retreat as well as the coaching phase. In 2016 COPE was delivered across Canada from New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and BC with six planned sessions including a session for First Responders. 2017 looks excellent as well with the funding in place to deliver another six programs including a French language serial and an additional session for First Responders.