MOD offers PTSD therapy

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed that it is to offer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder therapy to help service personnel, with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy both available.

Dr Robin Logie, a Clinical Psychologist and President of the EMDR Association UK and Ireland, admitted he had misgivings about the treatment before he trained in it.

But Jane Steare, mother of murdered British woman Lucie Blackman, stated that EMDR has helped her come to terms with the loss of her daughter.

Speaking to BBC News, she explained that prior to the therapy, she had been unable to stop imagining how Lucie was killed.

"I just kept thinking about it and I couldn't stop thinking about it. If it hadn't been for EMDR I think I would have gone totally, totally mad," she said.

Dr Peter Martin, a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, said: "The use of EMDR by the MoD is to be welcomed. As a Counselling Psychologist, I have used this method in an integrated therapy with motorcycle and other Road Traffic Accident victims effectively now for over a year.

"Counselling Psychology is a broad church which is able to encompass newer ways of responding to distress having critiqued their claims and in the context of wide experience.

"There is a scientific basis for this kind of work and it is the job of the well-trained therapist to inform the potential client of this before consent for treatment is gained.

"I did part of my EMDR training partnered by an MoD therapist. The method's 'No nonsense, just provide a safe container for the client to work out their own internal solution' seemed to suit the semi-closed world of the military.

"May fewer veterans suffer as a result of this brave move!"

The Division of Counselling Psychology will be holding their Annual Conference from the 12-14 July at the Thistle Grand Hotel in Bristol. More information can be found here.

We're really pleased to have feedback on this news item and have the opportunity to ensure that the facts of this story are fully accurate. Since we published this story we have received the following clarification from two members of our Society.

Dr Wendy Frappell-Cooke CPsychol MBPsS
Defence Clinical Psychology Service – Joint Medical Command

Dr Jamie Hacker Hughes CPsychol CSci FBPsS
Head of Defence Clinical Psychology Service – Joint Medical Command

We should like to clarify what has been posted on the BPS website and included in the recent Division of Counselling Psychology newsletter where it is stated that ‘the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed that it is to offer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment using Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)’.

In fact, both EMDR and CBT have been offered within the MoD as treatments for PTSD and other psychological problems for many years by members of all groups of mental health professionals within the Defence Mental Health Services. The MoD now employs, amongst others, four Clinical Psychologists and Community Mental Health Nurses who are EMDR Consultants, several other Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Mental Health Nurses who are eligible for Practitioner status in EMDR and many others who are trained and working towards EMDR Practitioner status.

In respect of CBT, the MoD employs a number of Psychologists, Mental Health Nurses and Psychiatrists who are accredited CBT Therapists and many others who are trained and working towards this status.

The Defence Clinical Psychology Service provides a psychology service for military personnel as part of Defence Mental Health Services and the provision of therapy is regularly monitored and updated. The MoD takes seriously the mental health and well-being of Service personnel and consequently provides, and has provided for many years, evidence-based therapies as recommended by NICE Guidelines.