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Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Help for PTSD

Time magazine chose Edna Foaas one of its 100 most influential people this week for her work is combatting PTSD, the disorder that plagues our veterans.

Though, as Time describes it, her technique strongly resembles cognitive therapy--at least to this layman--apparently it works for many and, just in case some War Peace Tolerance readers suffer from or know someone who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), I thought I'd tell you about it.

Her therapy is called prolonged exposure or PE. It works by searching out the thoughts and situations that PTSD sufferers find most stressful and then gently exposing sufferers to them. First they summon up their worst mememories. Next they are exposed to places or circumstances similar to what they remember. By facing the memories head on, they are stripped of their power. Time reports that the therapy works quickly. often within twelve sessions.

And, best of all, the US Military is utilizing Foa's methods.

My feeling is that sufferers will want to at least explore the possibilities. Many sufferers have tried everything else that is available and are desperate for something that can make a difference in their lives. Ask at the Department of Veterans Affairs. PE is being put into use now and may be available for the needs of loved ones sooner rather than later.

---Carolyn Howard-Johnson wrote the foreword for Eric Dinyer's book of patriotic quotations, Support Our Troops, published by Andrews McMeel. Part of the proceeds for the book benefit Fisher House. Her chapbook of poetry won the Military Writers Society of America's award of excellence. Find it at Her novel, collection of creative nonfiction and much of her poetry is informed by interest in leading the world toward acceptance of one another. Find her web page dedicated to tolerance at If your Twitter followers would be interested, please pass this on to them using this widget:

1 comment:

Chere said...


As a mental health professional, I want to thank you for putting the word out on this development.

Best wishes,
Chere Clark