Treatments for PTSD and where the iBand+ PTDS Edition fits.
Common sense says that the ‘PTSD Band’ could be the
missing link in all these therapies.
To set the stage for current treatments for people suffering from PTSD, the current practices are listed below (underlined red copy is a link to further information). Though treatments are evolving (a good thing) the iBand+ PTSD Edition could add another more direct therapy tool to help with these current practices.
Current accepted practices include:
EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
ERP - Exposure and Response Prevention
CBT - Cognitive Behavior Therapy
We know that PTSD has everything to do with memories of past traumas. In most cases, the emotional connection with the traumatic memories keeps them overpowering other memories and daily activities. In addition, because they also take over the very powerful dreams experienced during the REM sleep state - these memories also disrupt our sleep - causing more issues.
Each of the three therapies listed above work to mitigate the traumatic memories during the subjects awake state - usually in an office environment. All of these therapies do work! That’s the good news. But to get to the core memories they most work with the patient to ‘get past’ their conscious state by using tools like eye movement, repetition and the creation of new associations and actions during traumatic memories.
Some of these methods are not fully understood because we don’t fully understand how our brains store and recall memories. However, the therapies do work, and that is why they are highly recommended for sufferers of PTSD.
What they are:
EMDR - “EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.”
Research and a discovery of EDMR was a happy accident (a walk in the forest by Dr. Shapiro)- it was discovered that rapid eye movement made people that were troubled feel better. The therapy has become more involved and improved over the years, but the core is having the patient move their eyes rapidly while the clinician controls images and other stimuli.
There are 8 treatment phases and you can read all about them here. It is all good news! And the VA and DoD all recognize EMDR as a treatment for military members who are suffering from PTSD. (Thanks to the EMDR Institute for the quote and all the information given here).
ERP - Is in essence exposure therapy. In other words, by exposing a PTSD sufferer to the images and situations that are causing the symptoms of PTSD, they can become less ‘controlling’ and therefore diminished in their negative effects.
There are several exposure therapy types, and they may all be used, or just one or two - depending on the type of traumatic event that is affecting the patient.
In Vivo Exposure - This is simply taking the patient to the place where the traumatic event took place. Here (with the patient’s therapist) the person can confront the experience - and fear - head on.
Imaginal Exposure - Where it is not possible (a war time event) the patient cannot go directly to the location, the situation is imagined and visited in that way.
Interoceptive Exposure - This is a way to put the patient in a situation and help them control their breathing rates to lessen the ‘panic attack’ component of PTSD.
Prolonged Exposure (or PE) - This is a very effective way of working with PTSD sufferers. It requires 8 to 15 sessions where education, controlled breathing, and visiting the location of the event either in vivo or by imagination. By grouping the multiple ERP processes, a good outcome is usually possible.
(thanks to the verywell.com web site for the above information).
CBT - (From article by Ben Martin, Psy.D.) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a well researched and documented therapy for a number of psychological ailments - including PTSD. The main focus of CBT (as opposed to other therapies) is the singular event or issue the patient is struggling with. It is not intended to help solve undefined traumatic situations, but work with the patient on specific issues. This fits perfectly with sufferers of PTSD. There is always a traumatic event and memory that is triggering unwanted symptoms that appear during waking and sleeping times.
CBT is usually a one on one clinical working session with a licensed therapist. In these meetings, the relationship between the client and the therapist is that of equals - working together as business partners attacking a problem by sharing feelings and emotional reactions to the clinical sessions.
One element that is stressed with CBT is homework. This homework can be comprised in a variety of activities, and research has shown that when homework is actively completed by the patient, the outcome of the CBT sessions is greatly improved.
CBT is considered a short term therapy - similar to the other therapies in this article. Possibly 10 sessions is the median amount, but that is determined by the individual. Research has shown that it is effective after 2 years as having patients take drugs for the two years without CBT. For this reason and others, it is suggested that CBT is a far better solution to patients suffering with PTSD.
Bottom line - Most of the therapies are administered by therapists who are often licensed in more than one of the listed therapy type. As can be imagined, some people will respond to one set of therapies better than others. And sometimes multiple therapies seem to break through to unwind the traumatic knot.
The good news is that a great deal of quality research and knowledge is now more available that ever before - because - unfortunately more people are suffering from PTSD. It is no longer just members of the military, but civilians as well. Natural disasters, crime, domestic issues, loss of loved ones - in fact many of the events in our lives can easily trigger PTSD as a result.
Where iBand+ PTSD Edition comes in - It has always been considered that the iBand+ PTSD Edition is most effective as an additional tool for all the therapies listed above. It is the ultimate homework tool! By allowing patients a way to train and mitigate the memories of traumatic events as homework, they truly are an active participant in the therapy and cure. It is also an exciting way of doing your homework while you sleep.
Part of the therapy is also training prior to sleep. It can be seen as “meditation with a mission.” These new avenues - never available before - give therapists new and creative ways to access the fears and anxieties almost directly by having the patient confront them head on during REM sleep.
It is also notable that all the therapies currently used in a clinical environment during waking state are focused on getting to the memories and emotions of the traumatic event. The iBand+ PTSD Edition unlocks the REM door to allow the patient to work directly with those memories and detach the event from the emotion to the point that the memory becomes just one in a long line of life’s memories.
Much research will be conducted over the next months and years on how effective adding an iBand+PTSD Edition to other therapies is helping PTSD sufferers, but the early results from other EEG clinical programs are very hopeful. REM and PTSD are proven to be closely linked. Helping in the REM space seems directly connected to improved PTSD.
The iBand+PTSD Edition is an inexpensive, non-drug, non-invasive powerful new tool that therapists can add to their toolbox improving homework assignments and hopefully outcomes.
Resources for locating PTSD Counselors
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