A Special Message to Members of RCMP and How EMDR Helps PTSD
EMDR ( Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is a therapy used to process traumatic experiences like operational stress injuries so that post-trauma symptoms can be managed or eliminated in the best-case scenario. Crystal has extensive experience working with RCMP members who have endured complex operational stress injuries (on-the-job trauma) and organizational trauma, which sometimes lead to moral injury. Such moral injury can be debilitating over time, causing a member to leave the force or remain off duty.
EMDR Relieves Negative Symptoms for RCMP
EMDR is known for helping the nervous system and brain reduce negative symptoms such as triggers ( a person, place or thing that reminds someone of the original traumatic experience causing feelings to resurface in the present). EMDR is also helpful in relieving panic, anxiety, sleeplessness, intrusive thoughts and flashbacks.
Willing To Commit to the Process That EMDR Requires?
While EMDR is very helpful, it is still a type of exposure therapy which requires a person to be willing to complete the exposure by revisiting the worst of an operational stress injury or other traumatic experience. Since PTSD is known as an avoidance disorder, the tricky part of recovery requires a person to move toward discomfort. EMDR seems to work faster than other exposure therapies, like prolonged exposure, which is the gold standard for all anxiety disorders. Like all therapy, EMDR is only as helpful as a person’s willingness to commit to the process.
The reward of managed or eliminated symptoms is obtained for those who complete this therapy.
Crystal spoke on treating PTSD for RCMP and the military in 2019 at the EMDR conference in Canada. Working at the OSI clinic in Vancouver, she piloted the first EMDR intensive program for members to effectively treat post-traumatic stress symptoms. The program was measured using the impact of events scale and showed sub-clinical PTSD results for members that completed the program.
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