Thousands upon thousands of American veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
Some organizations are taking innovative approaches to helping the vets and others deal with PTSD.
One unique treatment uses a combination of hand and eye movements its proponents say help ease the symptoms.
The treatment known as “ART” is being taught to mental health professionals at military facilities across the country.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy, or ART, is a post traumatic stress disorder treatment that seems to be helping veterans and trauma victims heal.
This process differs from most therapies because it does not require patients to talk about their experiences.
“They visualize their problem and it uses eye movements which accesses a mechanism in their brain.”
Marsha Mandel is a licensed mental health counselor and ART facilitator. She says the technique focuses on reprogramming a patients’ reaction to bad memories.
“They are able to desensitize the images. And they can actually, believe it or not, they can positivize the images to change how they feel when they recall the facts.”
Helping veterans remains a top priority for Congress and the president.
The proposed 2020 budget includes more than nine billion dollars for veterans’ affairs to improve mental health services and prevent veteran suicides.
Brian Dempsey with the Wounded Warrior Project says government, businesses, and non-profit organizations must all work together to provide veterans with the services they need.
“Mental health programming is our biggest program engagement. last year we spent over 60 million dollars on mental health programming alone.”
The Pentagon is encouraging ART training for many of its mental health providers.
Advocated for “ART” hope raising awareness about their emerging program will change more veterans lives for the better.
“Providing relief and healing and something we call post-traumatic growth to more people.”
(This story was originally published on March 15, 2019)