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American Sniper Widow Advocates For Alternative PTSD Therapy

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, one in five veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

But a newer form of psychotherapy is picking up traction in the veteran community.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy, or ART, uses relaxing eye movements and a technique called Voluntary Memory/Image Replacement  to change the way negative images are stored in the brain.

Taya Kyle, the widow of United States Navy SEAL Chris Kyle known as the “American Sniper,” said you don't have to tell the therapist what happened like you do in talk therapy.

"You visualize the scene that happened as your eyes are tracking and following the movement and you start connecting the emotional and logical side of your brain,” Kyle said.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of the Royal Army Corps reports ART could also help civilians and veterans alike with depression, anxiety disorders, and alcohol or drug misuse.

The authors write that “ART can potentially help personnel traumatized by the unique challenges of war and conflict zones by providing brief psychotherapy in a readily accessible and culturally competent manner” and that “conservative estimates indicate substantial potential cost savings in PTSD treatment.”

Kyle is the keynote speaker at ART International Brave B.A.S.H. - Building Advocates for Successful Healing - gala on Friday, Oct. 19 at The Gathering at Armature Work in Tampa.

For tickets and sponsorship information, visit www.artherapyinternational.org or call (813) 435-1374.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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