As military personnel return from Iraq and Afghanistan, health care professionals are providing treatment not only for their physical injuries but also for psychological trauma.
Employing face-to-face training and video and Web-based materials, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), working with EDC, has trained 900 clinicians to use Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), an intensive immersion method for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A recent Institute of Medicine report concluded that exposure therapies such as CPT are effective for treatment of PTSD.
“We’re on the cutting edge of disseminating one of the few treatments for PTSD that has been shown to be effective,” says EDC’s Rebecca Jackson Stoeckle.
The next phase of the project will include enhancing the Web materials and working with award-winning Mile End Films to produce additional documentary and scripted footage of clinician-patient encounters. VHA and EDC researchers will also conduct a ground-breaking survey of veterans to screen for military sexual trauma (MST), which puts veterans at high risk for PTSD.
Says Stoeckle, “Anything that makes these problems more widely known, and brings more attention and resources needed to address PTSD and MST, can perhaps begin to combat the isolation and stigma veterans so often feel.”
Originally published on January 1, 2008