Women's Trauma Recovery Program (WTRP) - VA Palo Alto Health Care System
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VA Palo Alto Health Care System


Women's Trauma Recovery Program (WTRP)

A group of women sitting in a circle In 1992, the Department of Veterans Affairs opened the Women's Trauma Recovery Program (WTRP) in Menlo Park, CA. The WTRP, designed to treat women Veterans, active duty service members, National Guard, and Reservists with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is the first residential program of its kind in the VA. Many women referred to the program have experienced traumas that include but are not limited to military sexual trauma (MST), combat trauma, and childhood trauma.

WTRP is an intensive residential program with a strong emphasis on enhancing interpersonal functioning and building skills to cope with distress through classes that focus on the development of approach-oriented coping skills, such as emotion regulation, distress tolerance, effective interpersonal communication, relapse prevention, and exposure therapy. Women are admitted to the program via a rolling admissions process so that there are always senior community members available to support newer members. The length of stay in the WTRP varies in accordance with each individual's needs, but typically lasts approximately 60 days. Shorter lengths of stay may be recommended. Individualized treatment plans are created through collaboration with each resident. For those who may not be ready for intensive group treatment in a 24/7 residential setting, specific recommendations are made to both the applicant and referring clinician regarding what skills and experience are needed to better match the applicant's current treatment needs.

A group of women sitting in a circle No specific set of demographic factors, including specific type of trauma experienced, is a predictor of whether any one individual may benefit from the program. Individuals who are willing to take some therapeutic risks and be emotionally vulnerable with others within a safe, therapeutic setting tend to make the most amount of progress toward their desired outcomes. In FY2014, 100% of residents surveyed at discharge from the program reported that the quality of care they received at the facility was very good or excellent, and 100% of residents reported they would recommend this program to other Veterans if they needed treatment.

Many arrive to the program carrying heavy emotional burdens and find that sharing these burdens with their peers aids in the healing and recovery process. Many leave the program more self-assured and ready to connect to society and loved ones. Their stories are real and often painful. In an effort to reach other women Veterans who need help, they’ve shared their stories with the world.

Contact Info


  • 795 Willow Rd
    Menlo Park, CA 94025

Contact Number(s)

  • 650-493-5000 Ext. 22843

Hours of Operation

  • M-F 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.