By Sharon Melvan-Richie, Ph.D.
Certified Practitioner, Rapid Resolution Therapy
"The return of our men and women in uniform serving in Iraq and Afghanistan will rival the scale of World War II demobilizations in some communities." This is the opening statement of the informative booklet Engaging Veterans and Families to Enhance Service Delivery. Electronic copies of this booklet and other free publications about veterans, trauma informed care, self care for providers, homelessness and organizational development are available here.
The National Center for PTSD estimates that about 30 percent of troops who served in Vietnam experienced PTSD and an additional 20 to 25 percent have had PTSD at some point in their lives. A recent Rand Corporation Study sets this number at 22 percent for those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and notes that only one-third of veterans in need of mental health care actually receive it. However, given a new VA regulation (July 2010) that allows any veteran who has served in a war zone to receive compensation for PTSD without having to prove that he/she was exposed to a triggering event, we can expect more veterans to step forward. Some veterans only want the proper diagnosis and financial compensation from the VA system. Others want a better understanding of PTSD; help for themselves, their family members and friends; and/or personal relief from nightmares, numbness, anxiety, guilt, avoidance and frozen grief.
Rapid Resolution Therapy Certified Practitioner Susan Wolfson, LCSW, recently met such a group of veterans (a local chapter of Florida Veterans for Common Sense) when they asked her to speak at their meeting. She shares her experience below:
The talk was good. There were about 40 people there, most of whom were vets, but not all. Some were interested people from the community who heard about the talk through the grapevine. They asked a lot of good questions (mostly in trying to understand how we do what we do and how it works), but they also asked a few specifics like how to reach vets who won't accept any help or intervention. Afterwards I joined them at a local restaurant. One of the vets on the group's board [of directors] asked me to call him to see how he might be able to use my services for the vets in the community. Another guy asked me to expand on a pamphlet I had made for the talk, to explain more about what I do (how, in three hours, I can eliminate emotional pain from traumatic events). . . I didn't talk so much about Rapid Resolution Therapy as I did about the psychology and neurobiology of trauma, but I guess they were more interested in the therapy. It would be great if we all had something specific for vets that we could distribute in our local communities.