EMDR Helping the Military

In For Some Troops, Powerful Drug Cocktails Have Deadly Results (New York Times, 2/13/11), it is stated that the Army and Navy “tried to expand talk therapy programs — one of which, exposure therapy, is considered by some experts to be the only proven treatment for P.T.S.D.”  We submitted a letter to the editor that corrects this information. Our letter said: “In fact, exposure therapy is not the only proven treatment. The clinical practice guidelines (October, 2010) of the VA and Department of Defense recommend four therapies, exposure therapy plus Cognitive Processing Therapy, Stress management therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).  EMDR is especially helpful for military personnel who often face multiple traumatic events during a tour of duty, because EMDR treatment allows for more than one memory or emotion to be addressed. In addition, since EMDR utilizes no homework to achieve its effects, it may be particularly suitable for frontline alleviation of symptoms.”

We urge EMDR clinicians and their military and veteran clients to respond to the article by sharing favorable results of EMDR treatment.  If this article is reprinted in other newspapers, we encourage you to send a letter to the editor.

EMDR is consistently proven to be one of the most effective treatments for PTSD. We hope more people will end their suffering by seeking this psychotherapy approach.  Trained EMDR clinicians can be found at www.emdria.org.

Scott Blech, CAE

Executive Director

EMDR International Association

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This entry was posted in EMDR & the Military, EMDR News by EMDR. Bookmark the permalink.

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.

3 thoughts on “EMDR Helping the Military

  1. I wish that we had a program like this in Egypt especially in Alexandria because I live in Alex.. thank you ..
    Abla

  2. I’m really surprised that that got published. With even a small amount of research that would have been corrected I would think. Thanks for keeping their feet to the fire! I work with vets and they love EMDR. It works really well for a lot of them.

  3. First, I think its dreadful you only invite positive results. Not very scientific approach.

    That said, my feedback is indeed 2 examples of success. Myself, treated for PTSD as a soldier back in 2004 (some 9 years after the ‘traumatic exposures’) and to this day my safe, calm place is clear in my mind and my ability to move live my life flashback free 90% of the time.

    The 2nd example has 1 insight resulting from improper implementation of the therapy but that didn’t impair the overall impact which was success of the treatment. My husband is presently receiving treatment for combined traumatic exposures occurring over 2 tours to Afghanistan. The most recent was 2007 and the previous was 2002. Having already attempted Exposure Therapy with him, they discovered it had limited success. Not entirely no help but in fact it exacerbated his symptoms, great for seeing whats going on, but had no ‘come down’ aspect to the therapy which left him in quite an agitated state most of the time.

    Switching to EMDR had immediate response and clearly he was processing the traumas far more than with Exposure Therapy sessions. That said, at one session the Psychologist failed to ‘close the session’ properly and didn’t have my husband return the content to his storage container nor did she finish in his self-assigned safe image. He was an absolute wreck for 3 days, even worse than with post Exposure Therapy sessions.

    Unfortunately the Psychologist-patient relationship in this situation is not a safe or trusting one so my sense is that greater success could be reached even faster if he was allowed to seek help from a different practioner.

    Still, it speaks strongly of the pervasive power of EMDR that even in the context of a not so positive therapist to patient relationship, the patient continues to improve markedly with each session.

    My husband might end up needing some corrective support for the negative impact his psychologist is having on his self-esteem but the EMDR is definitely working.

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