Alternative Treatments for Trauma and Compassion Fatigue

There are many approaches to loosen the effects of trauma on the lives of individuals and families.  As someone who suffers from P.T.S.D. (post- traumatic stress disorder), I have personally found some of the treatments described below to be especially helpful.

Equine-Assisted Therapy
Equine-Assisted Therapy can quickly achieve change and relief for individuals and families.  It is also great for wounded warriors, as this work can be done both on the ground and in the saddle.  EAP (Equine Assisted Psychotherapy) is experiential because people must be very aware of themselves and “present” to be around horses.  A deep bond between a horse and a human is developed through trust and it can be very effective for anger issues, addictions and PTSD.  This type of therapy is gaining respect throughout the world. It is popular among veterans because it is not talk therapy and it can also be utilized for couples and families.  Two organizations offering these therapies are EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning) http://eagala.org/Information/What_Is_EAGALA_Model and  http://www.narha.org/about-narha/about-narha .   To view how this works with disabled veterans, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HATl4NZYPvg&feature=related

EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing)
EMDR can achieve amazing results in a single session for some people.  It may appear silly as you sit and follow the therapist’s hand as it waves side-to-side twelve inches in front of your eyes.  It has been well documented that this can un-stick the physical reaction and memory of a traumatic incident.  This occurs because it helps the left and right sides of the brain to communicate and process the memory. 

For more information, see  http://www.emdr-therapy.com/.

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Steven Vasquez and ETT(Emotional Transformation Therapy) Light Therapy
I have personally experienced and benefited from this very fast and unique therapeutic intervention. I came across it at a “Trauma Conference” in San Antonio, Texas years ago when he presented his technique to sixty professional and student attendees.  I experienced immediate results in the session and have since consulted with Dr Vasquez in the Philadelphia area. He uses a combination of different colors of light and processing while covering one eye. For more information, check outhttp://www.lightworkassociates.com/abouttest.html.

Dr Fredric Schiffer and his Bilateral Goggles
Dr Schiffer has developed Dual Brain Therapy (DBT) uses goggles blocking vision in one eye to determine if an individual perceives a trauma differently on each side. About a third of the people who try this notice a dramatic difference. I certainly did. When describing a memory or a current situation with only my right eye opened, I feel confident and accurate.  When I just look out of my left eye and describe my experience I feel muddled and distracted. This technique was helpful for me and I’m interested to see how it is combined with other therapeutic interventions in the future. For more information, check outhttp://www.healthyplace.com/depression/shocked-ect/can-taped-goggles-heal-emotional-disorders/menu-id-1362/

An Unusual Gadget called the “Alpha - Stim”
I discovered this years ago at another “Trauma Conference”.  I tried it for a day at the conference and it worked, so I bought one. For some people, including returning military the results have been astoundingly positive.  Others don’t notice a result. I therefore suggest trying it out with a professional to see if it’s right for you. http://www.alpha-stim.com/SCS.html