January 20, 2010

Centerstone Offers New, Innovative Treatment for Veterans with PTSD

Organization is one of three national behavioral health providers trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

New therapeutic service is free to qualifying military veterans

Nashville, Tenn.—Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization providing a wide range of mental health and addiction services, today announced it will offer a free, specialized treatment service for veterans who have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The organization will provide the therapeutic treatment known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) free of charge to qualifying veterans.

“Our nation’s military is facing increasing rates of PTSD, which can be associated with painful flashbacks, social isolation, difficulty sleeping and other psychological symptoms,” said Dr. Karen Rhea, Chief Medical Officer of Centerstone. “It is important that our veterans have access to a range of therapeutic treatment options as they work to overcome the mental and physical aftereffects of war. EMDR therapy is among the psychotherapeutic treatments offered at Centerstone for our warriors returning home. It is our goal to be a resource for veterans and their families struggling with issues related to combat and other trauma.”

EMDR is a form of psychotherapy developed to resolve symptoms resulting from disturbing and unresolved life experiences. It has been shown to be effective in treating combat veterans with PTSD. EMDR uses a structured approach and addresses the past, present and future aspects of dysfunctionally stored memories. During EMDR, the client focuses on a disturbing memory while simultaneously focusing on dual attention stimulus such as therapist-directed lateral eye movement, alternate hand-tapping or bilateral auditory tones.

EMDR works directly with memory networks and enhances information processing by forging associations between distressing memories and more adaptive information contained in other memory networks. The approach aims to transform a distressing memory so the client will recall the incident with a new perspective, resolution of the cognitive distortions and elimination of emotional distress.

A group of Centerstone therapists throughout Middle Tennessee has received advanced specialty training in EMDR and will provide the service to veterans free of charge following screening and referral. The training was made possible by the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs (HAP), a non-profit organization that trains mental health professionals serving traumatized communities worldwide, and the McCormick Foundation. Additional agencies providing specialized EMDR treatment include Palomar Family Counseling Service, in Escondido, Calif., and the Pastoral Institute in Columbus, Ga.

To learn more about Centerstone’s EMDR treatment services or to schedule a screening, contact Centerstone at 888-291-4357.

About Centerstone
Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization, has provided a wide range of mental health and addiction services to people of all ages for more than 50 years. Through more than 60 facilities and 170 partnership locations across Middle Tennessee, Centerstone serves more than 50,000 children, adolescents, adults and seniors each year. Centerstone is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). For more information about Centerstone, please call 888-291-4357 or visit www.centerstone.org.

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