Jenna’s WRAP Story

Hello! My name is Jenna and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor working in Pennsylvania. Since I went to WRAP Level 1 training a few months ago, it has become a tool that has been useful for both me and the consumers with whom I work. For the longest time, I have suffered from periods of depression and anxiety which I have had great difficulty conquering. It seems that, at times, I feel able to handle anything, while other times, my worries get the best of me. After Level 1 training, I started using WRAP’s with my clients at the LTSR, a Long Term Structured Residence for individuals with chronic mental illnesses. Many of these individuals suffer from trauma and patterns of substance abuse leading to recurrent hospitalizations and placements. I have found the WRAP process to not only be therapeutic for them, but also very helpful with the discharge planning process. Utilizing the WRAP tool, I am able to get a good handle on which parts of their lives they are most unsure of, whether it be limited supports, lack of medication education, or feelings of isolation in their communities. In addition, I am able to fully understand exactly which parts of their recovery to pay the most attention to.

At times, it is easy to become focused on the trauma itself, since it is often a truly engaging subject. But, this is not always the most effective thing to talk about in therapy with someone who has been in placements over and over again. For many of these individuals, someone is ALWAYS wanting them to talk about their past trauma experiences,  hoping they develop insight into the impact these instances have had on their lives. However, many of these individuals have suffered for years due to a lack of understanding or even access to a program that truly wants to help them become a person ASIDE from their trauma.  I use the WRAP tool to do this. By helping these individuals focus on developing their wellness toolbox, triggers, and crisis supports, I feel like I am helping them to find a place in the world to feel safe. What I have found is that many individuals relapse and return to these types of facilities because once they leave, they do not know what to do. They do not know who to call with questions. They return to life where things are unpredictable.

Helping to provide them with a solid plan helps them to feel like they can handle these times on their own.

During this process with my clients, I am finding myself looking for answers to the same questions that are presented to them: What am I like when I feel well? What kind of care do I need and how do I get it? How can I put a positive spin on the crises I have had in the past? How can I use my past experiences to help me prepare for the future? Which part of my life do I still need to work on in order to be most successful? Is there a place in the world for me to be comfortable in my own skin, and who can I rely on to feel safe and supported?

I find it satisfying to have the WRAP to use with my clients. What I like about it most is that it is something anyone can use. When you complete a WRAP, it is not about being “sick.” It is about being prepared. This is a skill that everyone can benefit from which ultimately makes life better.

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