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September 19, 2016

Veterans embrace alternative treatments for PTSD

Man with problem on reception for  psychologistThe New York Times reported recently that even though PTSD is widespread in vets returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they have not been keen on accepting standard treatments for PTSD: drugs and the gradual re-experiencing of trauma.

Even though many alternative options are now available, the New York Times article specifically mentioned Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a Boston-based psychiatrist and a bestselling author, who did a lot of the studies on PTSD, including drug treatments, and in the past 15 years also yoga therapy.  The yoga outcome studies were so powerful that van der Kolk now includes yoga as a core program feature in his PTSD treatment.  In addition, veterans tend to be people of action, who look for treatments that empower them, rather than the hand-out of a pill.

At Health Psychology Sacramento we treat PTSD with alternative approaches that are evidence-based.  At our clinic, after an initial assessment, each PTSD patient begins to work with his/her treatment team to address individual concerns and symptoms.  In the following, I am listing therapies that may be utilized in addition to psychotherapy.  I included research references for your review:

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and PTSD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3083990/

Yoga therapy: Yoga as adjunctive treatment for PTSD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25004196

Yoga for Neuropsychiatric Disorders: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3555015/

Yoga for Neurology : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548360/?report=printable

Yoga for Anxiety: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1725091/pdf/v039p00884.pdf

A Meta-Analysis of the Benefits of Yoga Therapy as a Complementary Treatment for Major Psychiatric Disorders: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3219516/

 Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for PTSD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23712109

Summary for other Mental Health Conditions: http://www.Dialectical Behavioral Therapyselfhelp.com/DIALECTICAL BEHAVIORAL THERAPYSummaryofDATA.pdf

CES Alpha Stim: Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3381625/pdf/brb30002-0211.pdf

CES for Depression, anxiety & insomnia: http://www.stress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Cranial-Electrotherapy-Stimulation-for-Treatment-of-Anxiety-Depression-and-Insomnia.pdf

Cardiac Coherence for PTSD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20653296

Each patient may utilize some or all of these treatment modalities in the context of an individualized treatment plan.  Patients are attending our clinic generally 3-5 days per week for a total of 3 hours each.  This approach yields results; results that are lasting and are noticeable in all environments: with family, work, and friends.

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