3 Keys to Managing PTSD, is a stress reduction workbook I wrote following my father’s passing. He was a Marine Vietnam Veteran who suffered from PTSD most his life but didn’t realize it until he was in his 60’s.
With your support, this campaign will equip the many struggling veterans nationwide with our comprehensive workbook so they can reduce their symptoms and live the life they desire. Our milestone goals take us state by state, starting with getting books in the hands of homeless veterans. Many veterans do not seek the help they need. This workbook empowers veterans with the right tools and puts their mental/emotional wellbeing on their terms. The program delivered in the workbook is certified by The American Institute of Stress. Together we can make a difference and get this book into the hands of those who deserve it most.
Check Out Our Workbook HERE
I initially became interested in helping veterans upon hearing more and more stories about large gaps in their healthcare. On March 11th, 2014 I launched the PTSD FREE mobile app. My dad, a veteran, tried to use it but he wasn’t much of an app guy. We spoke about it late one night. I said, “Dad I know these tools aren’t up your alley but I want us to get a handle on your stress. What am I doing working with veterans if the one I care about the most slips through my fingers.” He jokingly said, “Do you really want to pop the top off this lid?” I said, “Yeah Dad, I do. It’s easy, we’ll do 20 minute phone sessions.” He said, “Okay, we’ll do it.”
The very next day, my dad had a catastrophic bleeding stroke in the center of his brain. Nine days later, exactly six months after the app launched, he passed. After six months of mourning his loss, I decided to do something in his memory, something that will make an impact. Something he and I can both be proud of.
I always knew I was supposed to write a book, but life got in the way. Now was the time to write it, get it done, and if the book helps one person live another day with their loved ones, then job well done.
My dad rarely spoke about Vietnam. He dealt with his stress by cracking open a Budweiser, telling jokes, mowing his lawn (which he did 3 times a week), and going to the range. I knew while he was overseas he contracted malaria and was fighting 70lbs lighter. After his passing, my dad’s friend told me he was in some of the bloodiest battles in Vietnam; Khe Sanh, Da Nang, etc. At one point he saw body parts flying out of foxholes all around him. Towards the end of his tour he had an emergency flight home, but arrived a day late for his brother’s funeral. With a few weeks left of service, he went back to Vietnam. He did not think he was coming home. I’m very grateful he did.
Another friend told me when he came back after that second time, he was different. He was really wound up tight. He turned to drugs, alcohol, partying, etc. My parents divorced when I was six. My dad once told me the absurd helps you deal with the absurd. My goal with the book, 3 Keys to Managing PTSD, is to take the first step in giving all our servicemen and women the very best tools before they go to war, and the very best support when they come home.
Our initial goal is to equip our homeless veterans in each state with a workbook. In the US in 2018 there were 37,878 homeless veterans (23,312 sheltered, 14,566 unsheltered). 8.6% of all homeless adults are veterans. We can ensure this book is getting to our veterans by working in close partnership with shelters and dedicated veteran service organizations.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
Stress is Gone is a 501c3 non profit organization. Our mission is to deliver stress relief resources, services, and products to people in high-risk demographics and communities in need, and research effective stress relief tools. We serve these demographics and communities through teaching classes, providing coaching, and sharing tools.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brett Cotter, is the founder of Stress Is Gone and author of 3 Keys to Managing PTSD. Brett has almost 2 decades of experience in the stress relief field specializing in group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and instructional design. Throughout his career, he has discovered essential keys to relieve stress physically, mentally and emotionally. In 2008, he founded Stress Is Gone LLC, and began designing relaxation tools for the web and mobile devices. In 2014, Brett founded Stress Is Gone 501c3, to better serve at risk demographics. Brett’s passion is to help people release accumulated stress and share the tools for effective aftercare. He has facilitated classes in corporations, schools, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations. His program is certified by The American Institute of Stress. Brett has received training from the Himalayan Institute and a Shaolin Grand Master. He is also a member of PSI CHI International Honor Society in Psychology, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, National Center for Crisis Management, and the Stress Coaching Association. Brett’s approach to relaxation and relief is a blend of Eastern and Western philosophies. He can be reached via email at: [email redacted]
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"The PTSD FREE mobile app has helped me manage my PTSD symptoms and reminds me to meditate daily. The app guides me through the techniques that are easy to practice anywhere, at anytime. My overall stress level is much less and I am able to handle high stress situations more clearly. I recommend the app and the program to anyone suffering from PTSD."
– Kyle, Veteran Operation Enduring Freedom, IT professional, Southbury Connecticut.
"As a Doctor of 14 years, prior service member, and Director for a Civilian Navy SEAL Training Program, I understand stress. Stress Is Gone LLC uses unique and innovative ways to help those seeking to manage emotional stressors. I have found their approach to be helpful with my patients overall sense of wellness and use the Stress Is Gone Program daily in my practice."
- Dr. Stephen M. Erle
"The Stress Is Gone Class for our blind and visually impaired veterans was very effective. It was quite impressive how the facilitator held their attention throughout the class. The feedback from the veterans was very positive. They were especially grateful for the tool that was provided that helps them de-stress whenever they like."
- Jacqueline Yoshimura, MSW, CFLE, Rehabilitation Services Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Palm Beach, FL
"The Stress Is Gone Class offered to our blinded veterans was very helpful, and our group enjoyed the format. The technique we learned helps us relax fast. I like the tool because I can use it whenever I’m stressed, want to relax, or go to sleep at night. This helps me regain control when life gets extra stressful."
- Irwin Baumel, Asst. Director, Florida Regional Group, Blinded Veterans Association
“Stress Is Gone uses easy steps to helpreaders work through Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) withaproven technique and userfriendlyprogram. If you’retrying to learn how to manage your stress, the PTSD FREE mobile app is a great addition to your relaxation and meditation program. I would absolutely recommend using Stress Is Gone to help manage your PTS symptoms.”
- Juliet Madsen, US Army RetiredFounder, www.strokeofluckquilting.com
"This guide is very educational. Brett’s chapters take readers from understanding PTSD, through easy steps, proven techniques, and free tools thatreally work. I will definitely share this guide with family members who can use it. I recommend everybody read this book and download the PTSD FREE mobile app.”
- Bob Calvert, Founder, Radio Show Host, www.TalkingWithHeroes.com / www.ThankYouforYourService.us
"This guide is a unique and comprehensive approach to what is clearly an epidemic amongst our military heroes.With step-by-step logic and a hands-onapproach, this important work provides a practical blueprint for veterans to use to overcome this often debilitating disease.Bravo!”
- JR Rodrigues, Founder, JoblessWarrior.org
“This is an outstanding resource for Veterans that have been diagnosed with PTSD. This book includes a free mobile app and online membership. The meditations, exercises, and measurements are comprehensive and easy to apply. They have helped me personally on my path to recovery from prolonged stress as a recruiter in the United States Army. I recommend the book to other veterans!”
- James Corona, SFC, US Army, USAREC
"I highly recommend this book to veterans and their families suffering withPTSD. This resource provides practical advice, step-by-step strategies and key tools for veterans, or anyone looking to better manage their PTSD symptoms. Cotter’s section on meditation is excellent!”
- Aaron F. Glover, U.S. Air Force Veteran, Speaker, Veteran Advocate
“I really like how this book is written, in simple terms. Anyone dealing with PTSD symptoms can pick it up on the fly and reduce their stress. You don't have to be a social worker or clinician to use the tools and techniques.”
- Paul Sangalli, Ret. Air Force, Veterans Outreach Program Specialist, NYS Dept. of Labor
“Brett Cotter’s chapter on mediation is a must read for any person experiencing stress, anxiety and tension. This is especially true for those individuals who are experiencing the effects of PTSD such as frequently reliving and reimagining a traumatic experience. The methods he recommends to help calm the body and mind are based upon sound principals of mediation and mindfulness and, if followed, will definitely help those who are troubled and in need. The Exercise on Tailoring Meditation, provides clear instructionsfor dealing with specific situations that trigger stress. I highly recommend Brett’s book to anyone who wants to lower their stress, anxiety and tension.”
- James C.Petersen, Ph.D.,CEO & Founder, Stressmaster International, www.stressmaster.com
"Brett Cotter has been working with our multiply traumatized adolescents in the foster care system. He has helped our teens understand how their past trauma affects their current reactions and behaviors in a way that is age-appropriate. He provides a safe, non-judgmental, and empowering environment in 1:1 and group sessions. He shares the tools they need to reduce stress and develop positive coping skills. Brett has given them a new belief in themselves; changing the thought and behavior patterns of even the most jaded of our clients from destructive to a more positive nature. Brett goes above and beyond to help these children who have suffered so much in the past, as well as our management and staff. Everyone who has experienced this work is truly in a better place."
- Monique Trucchio MSW, Program Supervisor, Project Independence-Nassau County Family and Children's Association, NY
"The stress Hurricane Sandy caused drove me to attend a group meeting on stress relief. I truly believe that the practice of meditation which was initiated in this classroom has greatly reduced my stress level. I've come to realize that the same way we have a weak or strong internal immune system, we have a weak or strong internal stress coping system. Since attending this class i am not without stress, but my ability to cope with it and my decision making ability has improved dramatically."
- Vicky Sabato, Belle Harbor, Rockaway, Queens.
"Stress has been proven to be the direct cause of numerous illnesses. So, I wanted to familiarize myself with practical skills for coping with stress, particularly during times of crises and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The facilitators provided extremely useful tips when dealing with everyday stressful situations. The techniques can be applied anywhere and at anytime and are not difficult to learn. The objective is to make stress relief as natural as breathing itself and result in a mind over matter experience that quickly calms the body and mind.”
- Dympna, Rockaway Beach, Queens.
"After Hurricane Sandy, I've been struggling with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and being out of control. Attending the Stress Relief Classes has taught me proactive skills I need to take better care of myself. With the techniques I've learned to reduce my stress levels, those feelings no longer seem so unmanageable. Most of all, breaking through the sense of isolation I've felt has been priceless."
- Angela Fogarty, Rockaway, Queens.
"My children were in the schools under lockdown on 12/14/12. The helicopters and dogs were searching the woods near my house. The sirens were endless. My sons were texting me, "Mommy, is the shooter dead?" My son volunteered at funerals. I couldn't leave my house without a microphone to greet me. I called Brett Cotter on 12/19/12 and invited him to Newtown. He showed up on Christmas day. I was shaking when he arrived. I was put at ease almost immediately. He took my hands in his, professional, calm, charismatic, unassuming, caring, kind, and giving way. We worked on breathing and other exercises to reduce stress. It brought a tear to my eye, quite frankly. I am sleeping better, calmed myself with the help of his simple exercises. The ability to move on is bringing more life into my days. My unhealthy habits, that returned after 12/14 are dissipating. I have a clearer head and better focus. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are Newtown, We are Sandy Hook. WE ARE LOVE. Thank you for all your support. Brett, you inspired me. I got your back. I know you have mine. Thank you. That felt good. I needed to get it out."
- Allison, Newtown, CT.
- Stefanie Cotter
- Laura Shivani St George
- Daniel Schlosser
- Malachy Murray
Stress Is Gone, Inc.
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