Help Our Military and Veterans

By Scott Blech, CAE
Executive Director of EMDRIA

In January we asked EMDR clinicians and clients to write to their Congressional Representatives and Senators asking for help in making EMDR more readily available to our active military and veterans who are coping with PTSD. As you know, this is the time to make all evidence-based treatments available to meet the growing need for PTSD treatment. If you have not written, please do!

Unfortunately, the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and TRICARE have ignored the research, professional organizations, and their own published guidelines on EMDR.  The most recent of which is the 2009 edition of the Effective Treatments for PTSD: Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, which says:

“Among the advances highlighted in this edition are solid studies demonstrating the efficacy of EMDR.  Most, but not all, clinical practice guidelines now consider EMDR an evidence-based treatment for PTSD.”

It goes on to say: “On the other hand, in the United States, the Institute of Medicine (2008) report concluded that there is sufficient empirical evidence to support the efficacy of exposure therapies, but insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of both EMDR and pharmacotherapy. Nevertheless, we are persuaded by the evidence and rank EMDR as an evidence-based Level A treatment for PTSD in adults. Importantly, the quality of research on EMDR has improved greatly since the first edition of this book, and it is on this basis that we derive our decision.”

If you are an EMDR clinician or someone in the military community who has benefited from EMDR, please write to Congress and please let us know what responses you receive.

Sample Letter to Congress
Fact Sheet for Inclusion with Letters: Providing EMDR Mental Health Services for the Military

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About EMDR

The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) is a professional association where EMDR practitioners and EMDR researchers seek the highest standards for the clinical use of EMDR. EMDR is an accepted psychotherapy by leading mental health organizations throughout the world for the treatment of a variety of symptoms and conditions. This website provides information to the greater EMDR community including clinicians, researchers, and the public that our members serve.

2 thoughts on “Help Our Military and Veterans

  1. I have personally experienced EMDR and it has changed my life for the better. The memories I carried for many years are gone. Please help others be helped by EMDR.

  2. Emailed to us:

    Hi, I just attended a Tricare seminar and was told again that therapist off post cannot bill for EMDR therapy. I was told that the Department of Defense makes this decision and to write my congressman to request this be changed.

    I don’t see how to put this on the blog so wanted to pass this along. Ruth

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