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September 8, 2013

VETERANS’ CORNER: PTSD diagnosis, treatment failing to include EMDR

By JIM VINES

A column published Aug. 23-25 cited the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration creating a consortium to help diagnose and treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

Further research and information forwarded from a column reader indicates what the consortium is failing to do. It is not including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing as one of the psychotherapies to be studied.

EMDR has clearly shown efficiency in the treatment of PTSD and is considered one of the few evidence-based psychotherapies, according to the World Health Organization. EMDR is needed to be studied along with Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure to investigate which type of treatment is more effective for which type of trauma.

EMDR is a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach. It contains elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects. These include psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential and body-centered therapies.

EMDR psychotherapy is an information-processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach to address the contributors of a wide range of pathologies. It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health.

If in counseling or therapy, ask your counselor or doctor about EMDR. It is important to have all available information in order to provide a successful diagnosis and treatment. Go to emdr.com for research and help.

Resources central

This fall a new platform will reveal itself to help veterans and their families obtain all resources available to them. This platform is founded and developed by three U.S. Armed Forces members, called Unite Us. Their tagline is, “Find a Resource, Be a Resource,” connecting the military community to all available resources.

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