Upwards of 20% of veterans returning from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition has a long history among service members, so it’s important to have effective treatments available. EMDR for PTSD treatment offers hope for veterans, so providing it as part of customized treatment plans is essential.

Therapists have utilized eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to treat PTSD for decades. Its effectiveness is exactly why Transformations at Mending Fences offers the approach. The Help For Our Heroes program offers EMDR for PTSD treatment for vets along with a variety of other therapeutic approaches.

Our commitment to serving those who served is unwavering. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

How Does EMDR Work?

Individuals undergoing eye movement desensitization and reprocessing typically have sessions ranging from 60 to 90 minutes. During this time, a trained therapist assists the client in recalling distressing events. The goal is to help process their trauma. While this is happening, the therapist uses sounds or bilateral movements to stimulate both hemispheres of the brain.

EMDR for PTSD treatment among veterans has become common. Far too often, members of the Armed Forces have difficulty expressing their emotions. This is linked to an inaccurate idea that showing any vulnerability is a weakness. By undergoing this process in a one-on-one setting while the brain is stimulated, it’s easier to open up about the trauma.

When it comes to how EMDR works, there’s some disagreement. While the science shows the therapy relieves PTSD symptoms, experts aren’t certain of the exact mechanism of improvement. Of course, this is true for many medical treatments — including some prescription medications. As long as EMDR for PTSD can help vets, the importance of “how” is secondary.

Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders

Unfortunately, posttraumatic stress disorder often has company when it affects service members. Around 80% of individuals who live with PTSD have at least one other mental health diagnosis. These co-occurring disorders can worsen the effects of each other. If left undiagnosed, they can also seriously interfere with treatment.

This is one of the main reasons why EMDR for PTSD has become so widely used. While the therapy was initially intended to treat posttraumatic stress, researchers have found it useful in targeting many other conditions as well. Here is just a short list of disorders that therapists currently use EMDR to treat:

  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Stress disorders
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Panic disorder
  • Dissociative disorder

This list is far from exhaustive, but it shows just how powerful EMDR can be. It might not be right for everyone, and complementary treatments may improve its effectiveness. When looking at the whole of mental health therapies available, though, it’s impossible to ignore the benefits of this approach. That’s why it’s a primary therapeutic offerings at Mending Fences.

EMDR for PTSD treatment can help veterans in many ways, but every individual is unique. Contact us today to learn how our individualized approach to treatment can help you overcome posttraumatic stress and co-occurring disorders.

Is EMDR for PTSD Treatment Enough?

The medical profession and veterans are both fortunate that EMDR is an option. Of course, no therapeutic approach can be termed “a miracle cure.” This treatment may very well help you process and deal with your trauma, and this is a necessary step for overcoming PTSD. There are some instances, though, when additional therapies may prove beneficial.

That’s why clients of Transformations at Mending Fences each have a unique treatment plan. Additional therapies may be necessary for some individuals, and the best complementary approaches can vary between clients. This is why we provide each of the following therapeutic offerings at our facilities:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Equine-assisted psychotherapy
  • Group and family sessions
  • Art therapy Anxiety management
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Detox program
  • Adventure Therapy

EMDR for PTSD can do great things for veterans facing difficulties. However, this doesn’t mean complementary therapies can’t help. We’ve found Dialectical Behavioral Therapy — which can also target personality disorders — particularly helpful. Veterans have also significantly benefited from the outdoor exercise and recreational activities used in our Adventure Therapy program.

The important lesson here is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to mental wellness. It also means that there are an array of therapeutic offerings that can help veterans with PTSD. The only thing necessary to get started is realizing you need help and reaching out for it.

EMDR for PTSD Treatment Can Help — Start With a Phone Call

While you may hear some refer to EMDR as a “pseudoscience,” the American Psychological Association disagrees. The professional organization lists the practice as an evidence-based PTSD treatment. Of course, it may not be equally as effective for every person. That’s why a customized treatment plan is an essential aspect for treating posttraumatic stress disorder.

Transformations at Mending Fences provides EMDR for PTSD treatment along with many other offerings. Our goal isn’t to advocate for one therapeutic approach over another. Our goal is to find the unique approach that works for each client. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get your life back on track.


Society of Clinical Psychology


Department of Veterans Affairs