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Posts Tagged ‘post traumatic stress disorder’

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I enjoy reading Men’s Health magazine each month. The editors and writers do a fantastic job of researching a wide range of topics and presenting great workout ideas, simple tasty recipes and a fair number of inspirational stories about men that have overcome cancer, emotional issues and serious accidents.

Last month, the August issue carried an article titled, When the Warrior Returns Home here. In the article, the author describes the use of resilience training for combat troops. The armed forces are employing psychologists to give the troops resilience training is an attempt to help soldiers better communicate (without overreacting) to family and friends after returning home from combat. Resilience training also helps soldiers deal with the effects of being in combat: being able to handle the emotional stress of watching buddies get blown to bits in front of them and of the possibility of capture or death during deployment.  How well does resilience training work? Pretty well. Read the article to learn more.

If resilience training works for combat troops to avoid Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, can it help you and me? Sure it can. Whether you are fighting a tough reorganization environment at work, the stress of having a new baby at home (or two or three!), long-term unemployment or managing long commutes and frustrating traffic, resilience training may help you, too.

How do you get resilience training? Men’s Health gives tips on this page to show you how to better manage your own emotions and avoid the health costs of overreacting, high blood pressure and mental stress.

MayoClinic has a great article on Resilience training here.

Or you can visit a Licensed Psychologist or Counselor that specializes in resilience training.

Check out the Chicago Center for Family Health here. Their website says that their “collaborative, resilience-promoting approach identifies and builds on clients’ strengths, helping them to manage persistent stress and recover from life crises. Our goal is to enhance the functioning and well-being of the families, couples and individuals with whom we work.”

Or i the Chicago area, you may want to contact Michele Dubuisson, LCSW. In her web page she says that ““My areas of expertise include depression, anxiety, relationship issues, grief, and trauma. My approach to therapy is grounded in the belief that we are all resilient, each of us has unique strengths. I work with my clients to build on these strengths, increase their insight, and develop the trust needed to achieve their goals. I do this by providing a safe space in which you may process your experiences, express your feelings, challenge unhealthy relationship patterns, and develop self-awareness.I work with my clients to understand triggers that may contribute to stress and to develop healthier coping skills. My clients appreciate my down-to-earth, relational style, and collaborative approach to therapy.” Contact Michele via this link.

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MDMA for PTSD
Image by ddaa via Flickr

The holidays can be stressful for all of us. For some people, managing stress requires more than time management and breathing techniques. People that have been through trauma are often wired to overreact to stress. For those that have been through trauma events, war, violence, and similar events, everyday stress may be more than they can handle. But help for PTSD and other trauma related conditions is now much more available. According to John M Grohol PsyD in PyschCentral.com, EDMR therapy may work in only 5 sessions.

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It’s a type of psychotherapy that, among other things, involves thinking about the traumatic event while attending to bodily reactions and moving your eyes left and right, usually following a light or the therapist’s finger. The  therapy focuses on ‘reprocessing’ the trauma memories – essentially remembering and ‘reliving’ them, which seems to play a major role in preventing the uncontrolled memories and flashbacks that are part of the disorder.

Read Dr. Grohol’s article below for more insight into how eye movements can help reprogram people with PTSD’s  nervous systems.

Does EMDR Work in Just 5 Sessions

By John M Grohol PsyD in PyschCentral.com

Can eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapy technique, work to help people with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in just 5 sessions? The short answer is, yes.

And what about its long-term effects of EMDR? Do the benefits continue even after treatment has ended? Yes again.

For the first answer, I turn to Swedish researchers who examined 24 subjects who had just five sessions of EMDR therapy for the treatment of PTSD. After the five-session treatment, 67% of the subjects no longer met criteria for PTSD (compared to 10% of the control group), and there were significant differences post-treatment between the groups in Global Assessment of Function (GAF) scores and Hamilton Depression (HAM-D) scores. These latter two measures helped to measure how the person actually felt (versus some objective, but clinical, third-party diagnostic criteria). That’s significant, because it means that not only did two-thirds of those who received the EMDR treatment not meet the criteria for PTSD any longer, they actually felt better too. Sometimes researchers forget to measure silly things like that.

How about the long-term benefits of EMDR? Do psychotherapy techniques like EMDR actually help people even after therapy has ended?

To answer this question, van der Kolk and associates earlier this year examined the efficacy of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), fluoxetine, with a psychotherapeutic treatment, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and pill placebo and measured maintenance of treatment gains at 6-month follow-up. They too relied on the clinical diagnostic criteria of PTSD as the primary outcome measure, but also used the Beck Depression Inventory II as a secondary measure (again, that pesky subjective measure needed to help determine whether any of this actually helps a person feel better!). Eighty-eight subjects were enrolled in the study, and the study again focused on brief treatment — this time, only eight sessions of EMDR were administered.

After the eight week treatment block, fluoextine and EMDR were equally effective,

However, six months later, 75% who had been traumatised in adulthood and were treated with EMDR reported having no symptoms. For people traumatised during childhood, a third treated by EMDR were symptom free at 6 months.

In contrast, none of the people in either group treated with fluoxetine managed to free themselves from symptoms.

As the researchers noted, brief EMDR treatment produces substantial and sustained reduction of PTSD and depression in most victims of adult-onset trauma.

So the next time you think psychotherapy has to take months or years to achieve its effects for the reduction in PTSD severity, point your therapist to this entry. Lasting effects can be had in just 5 to 8 weeks.

Read entire article by John M Grohol PsyDhere. Dr. John Grohol is the CEO and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Link to abstract of clinical trial.

EMDR Practioners in Chicago

• Ann Foster L.C.P.C. at Millenium Counseling Center

• Jenny Scanlon L.C.P.C. at Millenium Counseling Center

• Nicole Wahlert L.C.P.C.at Millenium Counseling Center

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