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Therapies for PTSD: March 23, 2013

Almost everyday it seems news about PTSD gets worse. From it’s link to suicide and violent behavior and the shear number of veterans who battle it. But there are positives too as clinicians focus on treatment.

“In the civilian world, they’re looking at how this may impact the general population and how we may learn from the treatment of the soldiers,” says Dr. Omar Rieche, director of  Lee Memorial Health System’s Behavior Health Center.

Newer treatments are meant to work quickly, giving people relief while helping them reprocess their traumas. They make use of relaxation techniques.

“Simply things like yoga, acupuncture. There are many VA hospitals that are looking at all these therapies with some really good results,” says Dr. Rieche.

Lee Memorial Health System’s Behavior Health Center offers several cutting edge treatments including dialectical behavioral therapy or DBT and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing called EMDR.

“We recently completed a group a DBT group, by the first and second session patients are learning how to relax using visual imagery, learn how to sense their temperature, their heart rate so they can learn how to calm themselves down,” says DR. Rieche.

EMDR uses guided eye movements to help process traumatic memories.

“They learn how to do this exercise and then they start to talk about the old thoughts and feelings and start to put in new thoughts and feelings,” says Dr. Rieche.

Making treatment non-threatening, gives stress sufferers a safe place to heal.