Rob Martin, Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired). "CAN PRAXIS means everything to me. Upon initial contact mid-September 2015 Steve talked me through a very dark, life-threatening situation.... read more
DawnMarie Primeau I am the spouse of an Ontario Provincial Police officer. My husband loves his job, wears his uniform with... read moreI am the spouse of an Ontario Provincial Police officer. My husband loves his job, wears his uniform with pride and took to the streets to make a difference. He is passionate about connecting with the communities he polices and creating a positive relationship with citizens of all ages. He is my HERO.
However, it has been a year of incredible struggle. In January I watched my husband spiral into complete and utter darkness. It was all I could do to hold on and not walk away. The trauma he has faced changed who he was. It stripped everything I fell in love with. It left a man overcome by the demons of PTSD. Piece by piece he became a different person, and we were losing who we were. I struggled to help him, did some work and realized that quite possibly he was suffering from PTSD. It then took me four months for him to realize he was struggling too.
PTSD holds a strong stigma in Policing. If admitted members may be seen as weak and unhealthy to continue the job. It pushes members to contemplate the worst possible outcome, taking their own life.
In June we began our journey of recovery together. Recently we were selected to attend the Can-Praxis program held in Ontario. We were grateful for the amazing opportunity, but of course apprehensive about bearing our lives to complete strangers. Exactly a week ago we met Steve and Jim for the first time and handed over our relationship to them in hopes that we could learn how to communicate with each other in a positive, effective manner. Having our voices heard, being strong enough to say things I have kept inside for many years. Things I never thought I would be able to say.
The program is offered in such a manner that the members and the spouses have a safe environment, surrounded by other members or spouses that can relate to everything you share. The classroom offered us the information that we could take away and use to mend our marriage. The exercises with the horses offered insight into how our spouses feel daily while struggling with this illness. Grooming the horses first thing in the morning gave us a safe and quiet place to talk out what we were learning and what we wanted to get out of the program. The best part of this program is that all the information is given in the exact manner to both the members and the spouses, but in our own respective groups. We walked away with the same information, techniques and a new found understanding of how each other is suffering.
We left the program last Saturday with a new found family, new hope for a better relationship, the tools to see us through more difficult days ahead and the realization that we would come out of this dark tunnel, we learned that we are not BROKEN, we are INJURED.
We embarked on our 3 hour ride home with a zest to communicate and we started in on a deep conversation. One that would change everything for us in just a few hours. Not only did the Can-Praxis program give us essential tools to heal our relationship, the time with other suffering officers gave my husband the courage to "come out" publicly and share his story. Up until this point, only a few people were aware that he had been diagnosed with PTSD and that we were struggling to survive this terrible illness. Not even our families knew what we had been dealing with for nine months.
His unwavering strength and courage is so inspiring. Although this past week has been an emotional roller coaster and he has slid back a little I know that sharing his story will help so many more people. The fear of the stigma and being seen as a weak man has been broken and he is so brave. He has come out into the light and shown that he is stronger then anyone could imagine, it took guts to share his story, yet the overwhelming response to his post has reaffirmed that he made the right decision. I am so proud of his steps... probably prouder then the day I watched him accept his badge in Orillia.
Can-Praxis not only saved our marriage, it saved my husband. The facilitators have an incredible program that I hope will continue to help not only our National heroes, our veterans, but also the men and women that protect our communities everyday. What they are doing is saving members from devastating outcomes. We will forever be changed because of this experience, and we look forward to attending the next phases with our new family.
Thank you for the amazing experience. We will forever be grateful for your leadership and friendship.
Can-Praxis #1609 read less
Spouse of Stephane Marcotte I am the spouse of a veteran who has been in the Canadian Navy for 27 years, 18 of which... read moreI am the spouse of a veteran who has been in the Canadian Navy for 27 years, 18 of which he served as a submariner. He will retire medically this year and we know that this transition will not be without challenges. He suffers from PTSD and has seen Military psychologists and psychiatrists for the past 4 years.
This ONE weekend at Can Praxis was more valuable than all the sessions with the military doctors combined. We both learned many practical life skills for communication and how to look at the coming days with a renewed sense of hope and commitment to work through it all, together. Jim and Steve were the perfect combination, opposites in personality yet both very caring, intent on teaching and listening…. often interpreting our unspoken words to be able to direct our thinking and realizations.
They made it feel like a very safe environment, without blame or judgement. Working with the horses was extraordinary. Bonding with our spouse and the other couples there while using the horses to give us immediate and unbiased feedback was incredible.
Without the combination of all these aspects..... The setting, the horses, the other couples and of course Jim and Steve, I do not think there would be such a great impact. Even though this program is designed to be for people with PTSD and dealing with the fog, the anger and wounds, I highly recommend Can Praxis and the training there for anyone who wants to evaluate themselves, their communication skills and make a plan to move forward in a positive way. read less
Peter Madeloso I was initially skeptical when my wife suggested we attend the program. Having attended it I believe that I have... read moreI was initially skeptical when my wife suggested we attend the program. Having attended it I believe that I have reconnected with my emotions and have learned mechanisms to help us work through any future conflict in my relationship with my family. read less
Kate Madeloso I can't thank the facilitators, Steve and Jim, enough for their passion and dedication to the Can Praxis PTSD program... read moreI can't thank the facilitators, Steve and Jim, enough for their passion and dedication to the Can Praxis PTSD program for couples. It has been a life changer for me and my husband - we now have a road map to help us through the tough times. We are feeling way more positive and are way more willing to work together to find some balance and peace in our relationship. read less
Blair ‘We just recently attended the Can Praxis session held from October 24-26 in Rocky Mountain House, AB with Steve and... read more‘We just recently attended the Can Praxis session held from October 24-26 in Rocky Mountain House, AB with Steve and Jim, the organisers, along with 5 other veteran couples. I am a veteran with PTSD and I can’t thank this program enough for the hope it has given me and my family. It has given us the opportunity to not feel alone and abandoned but provided us with hope and meaning to life again as well as bring my family closer together. It has given us a renewed bond that we were missing, not only within our family, but with the other couples that were there. My wife and I have made connections with the other couples that will provide us with renewed support and friendships.
It is such a unique and comprehensive program that enables Kim as much as it does me. I attend my therapy sessions, take my medications exactly as prescribed, but neither of that addressed the core issue itself which is to have the understanding and a structured road map that will enable our family to function and deal with the normal adversity in life.
Steve and Jim provided a safe and non-threatening environment in which dialogue, which has never happened but was so desperately needed, did occur. I truly believe your support with this program will save more than just lives, it will save families.’ read less
Rob Martin, Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired). "CAN PRAXIS means everything to me. Upon initial contact mid-September 2015 Steve talked me through a very dark, life-threatening situation.... read more"CAN PRAXIS means everything to me. Upon initial contact mid-September 2015 Steve talked me through a very dark, life-threatening situation. My daughter and my attendance at CAN PRAXIS in October brought me hope and discovery, and an 'exquisite understanding of pressure and release' in my relationships. I live the communication and conflict resolution/self-mediation lessons learned every single day, and will continue to refine my understanding of them for the rest of my life. For these thing and more I am grateful and give thanks." read less
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