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PTSD: Florida First State to Cover Alternative Therapy Under Veterans’ Benefits

By August 16, 2019 December 6th, 2019 Blog

This new initiative will allow the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to contract with the state university or Florida College System institution to provide the following alternative treatment options: Accelerated Resolution Therapy® (ART), equine therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, music therapy, and service animal training therapy.

Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, who once served in the Navy, has long supported alternative-treatment, such as service dogs to work with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as the evidence-based therapy, Accelerated Resolution Therapy®.

As a country, the United States has an infamous history of poorly treating war veterans. In 2014, a CNN report exposed that at least 40 veterans had died waiting for care at VA facilities in Phoenix, Arizona. Further investigations found that more than 120,000 veterans across the country were left waiting or never received care, even as VA employees were trained to manipulate wait time numbers internally. That same year, it was discovered that the VA doled out $142 million in performance bonuses. Instead of spending money on the veterans who needed it, they spread it amongst themselves.

As disappointing and upsetting as the VA’s failures may be, they are only one of the many ways the United States fails its veterans. For example, less than half of the country’s 21.2 million veterans were employed in 2014. Of those veterans, 573,000 were looking for work, while 10.5 million were neither employed nor seeking employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Veterans are at a high risk; they are twice as likely as the average American to become homeless. It is even worse for female veterans, for whom the risk of becoming homeless is four times greater than for male veterans. Additionally, the number of homeless Vietnam veterans, is greater than the number of soldiers who died during the war.

To make matters worse, approximately 70% of homeless veterans suffer from substance abuse while roughly 45% suffer from a mental illness, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Importance of Covering Alternate Therapies

In the past, when the VA covered the cost of  therapy, they would only cover talk therapy, which is proven to not be the most effective. Talk therapy also known as psychotherapy, is based on the core idea that talking about the things that are bothering an individual can help clarify them and put them in perspective, allowing for an individual to heal and move on. In theory, this therapy makes sense, however, this therapy requires someone to think about and re-experience their trauma over and over again, which can often be more harmful than helpful. Also, this type of therapy tends to take many months or even years, leaving someone in an extended state of distress.

Other therapies, such as ART, are fast-acting and take as few as one to five sessions allowing for someone to quickly recover from their trauma and the potential accompanying mental illnesses. Additionally, during ART, the client does not need to talk about their trauma, which is significantly less painful to endure than other therapies.

Covering multiple therapies is extremely beneficial to veterans as it means they are not bound to one particular therapy. They get the opportunity to experience multiple therapies increasing their chance of successfully recovering. Not everyone responds the same way to a therapy, so allowing access to different types of therapy is tremendously valuable to veterans.

Early Intervention and Treatment is Critical

Depression, PTSD, as well as other mental health illnesses veterans experience can leave lasting scars that can completely alter a person’s character and outlook on the world for the rest of their life if left untreated. Seeking treatment can completely turn a person’s life around after a traumatic event, giving them the chance to get back to the life they lived before their trauma.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy® (ART) is an innovative, evidence-based therapy for both PTS and PTSD, anxiety, depression, stress, and similar mental health diagnoses. Initially, the therapy was primarily used to help veterans suffering from PTSD. One of the major advantages is the speed at which ART is able to bring relief. Normally, only one to five sessions are needed, not months or years of expensive psychiatric treatment.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy works by reprogramming the traumatic memories that are preventing an individual from enjoying the full life they deserve. The therapy works equally well on bullying victims, combat vets, and others.

If you or someone you know is a veteran suffering from trauma, do not let the trauma, PTSD, or anything else you may be experiencing continue to control your life. There is always hope, and someone is always available to help. Contact ART International Training and Research to learn more about the therapy or to find a therapist near you.