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

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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 Listed by SAMHSA on National Registry

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  This national registry (NREPP) cites EMDR as evidence based practice for treatment of PTSD, anxiety and depression symptoms.  Their review of the evidence also indicated that EMDR leads to an improvement in mental health anxiety.  EMDR is now live on the NREPP website and can be viewed here.

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