EMDR helping the Military

On Saturday, Nov. 5th I gave a presentation to a small group of Airmen at Stewart Air National Guard base, located in Newburgh, NY.  This occurred  during a Drill weekend. With me was April Hannah,  the Wing Director of Psychological Health on base.   We were able to show “Warrior Camp” and it was very well received.  I talked about EMDR and offered to do a demonstration of Resource Installation.  One of the Airmen was volunteered by his men. It was somewhat awkward for him in that he was unable to report on body sensations, but as often happens, he noticed and verbalized an almost immediate relaxing of tension, with only the first set of bilateral eye movements. That produced some laughter and pretty intense attention from the rest of the men.  Just so you know, I am pretty traditional and used my arm – of all the EMDR paraphernalia, I only own TheraTappers and CDs, (no light table – never worked for me).

The meeting with this group lasted an hour. They had recently redeployed from a rather difficult deployment in Iraq. They were not too forthcoming about what happened to them, which is not uncommon with groups of warriors, especially when they are all men and their CO was in the room with them. There was a mental health rep present, however, and he was immensely impressed. April thinks I will be invited back, hopefully to address a larger group.

What are your experiences presenting on EMDR to members of the Military?

Eva J. Usadi, MA, BCD
New York, NY

Trauma and Resiliency Resources, Inc. Announces Launch of New Website, Programs and Video

Trauma and Resiliency Resources, Inc. launches a movie! “Warrior Camp” to describe its Warrior Camp program, carefully designed to address combat-related PTSD. Horses’ Hooves and Warriors’ Hearts is a program for warriors, first responders and their families.”Warrior Camp” can be seen on YouTube and TRR’s homepage!

Warrior Camp is a week-long intensive treatment program that has been carefully designed to address combat-related PTSD in an Active Duty Military population. The pilot Camp scheduled for February 2012 targets those that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The purpose of Warrior Camp is to create a safe environment in which the trauma of going to war can be healed. Included are a combination of trauma treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Processing (EMDR), EAGALA-model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), Yoga, and Healing Story workshops. More details on the program can be found in a recently produced video, “Warrior Camp,” on TRR’s YouTube channel.

View this entire Press Release here.

Filmmaker Releases Documentary on EMDR

Filmmaker Michael Burns has released his latest documentary, EMDR, a movie that explores one of the top treatments for psychological trauma: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  Despite turning the community of trauma treatment on its head over the last two decades, EMDR remains lesser known in the mainstream. “With this film I’m looking to introduce people to what EMDR is, how it works, and who can be helped,” said Burns.  Billions of people across the planet have had their lives touched in some way by tragedy.  For many of them, the effects of their abuse, accident, or loss reverberate for the rest of their lives and hold them back from their full potential.

To read the entire Press Release, please click here.

EMDR: Evidence-Based Treatment

EMDR is considered an evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD by the following organizations:

  • The American Psychological Association
  • The American Psychiatric Association
  • The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 1998 and 2008
  • The 2004 AND 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines
  • Also Tricare and many other third-party payers
  • It has been identified as effective in reviews by the Cochrane Database and the RAND Corporation

It is not ranked below any other treatment in any of these reviews.  Its status has not been reduced in any revisions.

Further: Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy (and sometimes Cognitive Therapy)and Stress Inoculation are considered evidence based in these reviews.

The sole exception to this pattern is the Institute of Medicine report, which concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence by their standard to identify EMDR as effective. The IOM had its own standard of rigor which favored ONLY prolonged exposure on the basis of a study by Schnurr et al. 2007. It was a very good study with a very large sample and deserves recognition for that. However (and this is the part that doesn’t often get discussed), it was a study of female veterans (great, it’s an important population), only 36% of the sample had served in a combat setting, only 6% identified a combat event as their primary stressor. The most commonly reported stressor was military sexual trauma (great, it’s an important stressor). But lots of people who don’t read studies assume that it was a study of combat trauma. There were some problems with the IOM’s review of EMDR, but that’s an issue for later discussion.

Susan Rogers, Ph.D.
VA Medical Center
Coatesville, PA

CME’s for Physicians Now Available for the EMDRIA Conference!

We are pleased to announce that, for the first time, presentations at the EMDRIA Conference have been reviewed and approved for CME credits.  You can earn up to 22 CME credits!  Conference presentations have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the Institute for the Advancement of Human Behavior (IAHB) and EMDR International Association.  The IAHB is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.