Wednesday, June 1, 2011

No Joke... It actually works!

So, I've been debating exactly how to write this blog post for a few weeks.  I don't want it to sound like one of those "infomercials" that people just tune out... and I DEFINITELY don't want any one of the veterans or loved ones we serve to ever think that FamilyOfaVet.com has become about advertising (as opposed to helping heroes and those who love them, however, whenever we can!).  But, at the same time, because we've effectively "stumbled onto" something that actually works (no b.s.) to help with PTSD symptoms and is drug free, relatively cheap, and can be done from any computer, I feel like it's my responsibility (as always) to share with you what I know.

To start at the beginning, it's important for everyone to know that post-traumatic stress disorder actually changes the way someone's brain physically looks.  There are more complete details about those changes available at http://www.familyofavet.com/understanding_combat_ptsd.html and a general overview as part of the video below, but basically "Beastie Boy" PTSD rewires the brain and tricks it into believing that memories are actually current events, tells it to over-react to perceived threats, messes with short-term memory and emotions, etc., etc. (if you live with a PTSD veteran, you know the drill :) ).



Those physical changes are why many veterans, even those with years of treatment and multiple mood-stabilizing drugs, still "loose it."  They may feel like crap afterwards, may wish it hadn't have happened, but will, for the most part tell you, that it wasn't something they could control.  Sort of like you couldn't control the fact that you were unable to walk if your leg was broken.  The physical impact of the injury would make it impossible (or darn close) for you to do something, even if you wanted to with all of your heart.

And, many of our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans also have the added "bonus" (pure sarcasm) of dealing with a traumatic brain injury.  So, their brain is broken in several ways and they're spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week trying to work around those broken places.

In 1989 a therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was started to address the need to "rewire" brains impacted by trauma (rape, combat, natural disasters, assaults, etc.).  EMDR is now widely used in the mental health community and there have been countless studies done that prove it works (more detail available in this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_movement_desensitization_and_reprocessing).

EMDR seems a little like science fiction when you first hear about it... that somehow looking at flashing lights while recalling a traumatic event is supposed to make a difference seems far fetched... but it works.  And I can't argue with what works (besides, there are FAR too few things in PTSD world that do work).

Until recently, EMDR-related therapy was limited to those who had access or could afford it through traditional methods (i.e., in a clinical setting).  The problem with that in relationship to veterans with PTSD, is it can be EXTREMELY hard (if not impossible) to be them to go anywhere to try anything new.

But, a new company, Clayton Stress has started offering Eye Movement Memory Processing (EMMP) therapy (which is based on the EMDR concept) online!  This format (thank God for technology!) allows injured heroes and family members to take advantage of the treatment from home, at any time its needed, for an affordable price.

When Clayton Stress first contacted us, I was (as always) skeptical.  Truthfully, over the past four years since FamilyOfaVet.com was founded I've probably received hundreds of "opportunities" to partner with companies who wanted to reach out to veterans or those who love them.  Of all of those, I've passed along information about *THREE* companies.  I'm just not interested in advertising for someone unless they've got something that truly going to make a difference to the families and heroes I pour my heart and time out for each day.

We did our own "in house" test of the Clayton Stress program (full details here: http://www.familyofavet.com/clayton_stress.html) and were not only NOT disappointed, but were wonderfully, incredibly surprised.  IT WORKED.  It actually freaking worked.  And it worked WELL.  In just a few sessions, veterans with moderate to severe PTSD (as diagnosed by the VA) saw relief from symptoms related to the traumatic event they worked on AND that relief has been lasting.

Now, let me be careful to say, this is not a cure for post-traumatic stress disorder.  It's not going to magically "fix" a mentally wounded veteran.  But, in a world where we are to often left with no even slightly helpful options, it is a "darn" good one.

And, as an added benefit, the people at Clayton Stress have a heart for Veterans!  They've worked with us to set up a pilot program that gives our site visitors easier access, allows us to raise money (to continue reaching out to help more and more heroes and families), and we even earn "scholarship" accounts as a way to help heroes and families who truly cannot afford the program (even though costs are minimal).

PRICING FOR THE PROGRAM WORKS AS FOLLOWS

Single Session = $10 

Three Sessions = $25

Ten Sessions = $65

Unlimited Use for One Year = $95
(averages out to $8.75 per month!) 

Unlimited Use for One Year 
*Monthly Payment Option*
$10.00 per month ($120 total)

*DISCLAIMER* Just in case you missed the reference above, if you've been around FamilyOfaVet.com for very long you know that I place a great deal of value on always being above board!  We do have a fundraising agreement with Clayton Stress (if you buy sessions, FOV earns money).  Of course, as always, that money goes right back into reaching out and providing education and support to more veterans and families.  FOV is a non-profit corporation registered in the State of Alabama and we're working on our Federal 501(c)3 status.  The money goes for a great cause, but we do earn money.

I really and truly hope from the bottom of my heart that you'll look into this and, if you decide to try it, please let us know what you think!  As long as you follow the directions and keep an open mind, I have no doubt that you'll love it :)

Thanks for listening,
Brannan

Brannan Vines
Proud wife of an OIF Veteran
Founder of FamilyOfaVet.com - an organization dedicated to helping heroes and their loved ones survive and thrive after combat with real world info about PTSD, TBI, and more!

2 comments:

  1. Thats awesome. I'm actually certified in emdr. My husband can't do it. The tones and lights trigger his migraines and for whatever reason the tactile didn't work for him. Wish he could though. It really is like magic.

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