Joining the military is a noble decision, but it doesn’t come without repercussions. While these individuals may gain feelings of pride and valor from serving their country, they frequently also bring home significant burdens. When facing addiction or mental health issues, getting back to normal may seem impossible. Fortunately, EMDR for veterans can often help.
Transformations at Mending Fences is nationally accredited and licensed to offer EMDR and other therapies that can benefit veterans. We strive to help each of our clients overcome their individual issues, but we also realize that members of the Armed Forces face unique stressors. That’s why we have a program devoted directly to treating veterans and first responders.
Contact us today to get on the path to a healthy life and learn if EMDR is right for you.
How Does EMDR for Veterans Work?
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new form of treatment. While it has only been around since 1987, though, it’s proven to be a highly effective therapy. It works by helping patients process trauma and confront unprocessed memories. Patients recall these memories while engaging in actions that cause bilateral stimulation of the brain.
EMDR for veterans is an important approach due to the issues it targets. The therapy was first created for the treatment of PTSD, but it’s proven to be beneficial in many other scenarios as well. Some of the disorders most commonly treated with EMDR look like they could make up a blog titled “Difficulties Faced by Veterans After Service.”
Consider the following issues EMDR can help with:
- Anxiety disorder
- Substance abuse disorders
- Suicidal ideation
- Eating disorders
- Dissociative disorder
- Stress disorders
Unfortunately, far too many veterans have to live with these conditions as part of their reality. In fact, many struggle with co-occurring disorders. PTSD is what most people envision when they think of veteran mental health issues, and 80% of those living with this condition have at least one other diagnosable disorder. This is another reason why EMDR for veterans is so vital.
The simple fact is that some therapeutic approaches only target specific conditions. EMDR has proven effective at treating a variety of issues, though, so it can serve as an integral aspect of any mental health treatment plan. And since it targets the memories of root-cause issues, vets are able to process memories they may have struggled with for years.
What Does the Science Say?
There are many emerging theories on the treatment of PTSD and other disorders veterans commonly encounter. Everything from protein disruptors to MDMA (i.e., ecstasy) have shown promise as future treatments. Fortunately, EMDR for veterans isn’t a therapy in its early stages. Research has long shown that it’s effective at dealing with issues common to vets.
Some may refer to EMDR as “pseudoscience” — often owing to the fact that the underlying mechanisms aren’t fully understood — but the approach is widely accepted among the healthcare and mental health community. The following is just a short list of organizations that recognize EMDR as an evidence-based treatment:
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
- International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- American Psychiatric Association
- World Health Organization
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
Using EMDR for veteran issues has scientific support. It’s terrible that members of the Armed Forces face so many difficulties, but having such a therapeutic option offers hope. Of course, this approach may be more effective for some than others. This is why it’s important to create treatment plans customized to the individual.
That’s exactly what we do at Mending Fences. In addition to offering EMDR for veterans, our program has a variety of other approaches proven by science.
Alternatives to EMDR for Veterans
Choosing the right therapeutic approach isn’t something that can be done with a few hours of internet research. Differences in background, experience, co-occurring disorders, and other factors all play an integral role in which treatment will work best. In some instances, complementary therapies may be used.
The following are just a few of the offerings you’ll find at Mending Fences:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy
- Detox Program
- Adventure Therapy
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Trauma Groups
Whether EMDR for veteran treatment would improve by adding one of these therapies depends on the individual. In some situations, a person may benefit from focusing on one of these rather than EMDR. This is a conversation you should have with the trained professionals at Mending Fences. It all starts by simply reaching out today.
EMDR for Veteran Treatment Is Available Now
American veterans face struggles that many of us could never imagine. Unfortunately, this often leads to addiction, mental health disorders, and even harmful actions. If you or a loved one experience any signs that something is wrong, there’s no reason to not seek treatment. With such an array of therapeutic offerings available, help is just a phone call away.
Transformations at Mending Fences offers EMDR for veterans along with a host of other treatments. Our goal is to find the right therapy or combination of therapies to help our clients live healthy lives. Those who serve in the military encounter unique stressors, and the issues these cause may seem like insurmountable burdens. It’s our job to help you overcome them.
Contact us today to learn how you can get on the path to physical and mental wellness.
Government Accountability Office
Department of Veterans Affairs