As Hector Garcia's talk on PTSD shows, psychologists know far more now than they did even a few years ago.
For years, the scientific basis behind post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, simply wasn't there. Even as knowledge increased, treatment options like therapy dogs or wilderness retreats were found to temporarily relieve stress without addressing the core symptoms of PTSD. However, Garcia posits that psychologists can now eliminate PTSD beyond only managing the symptoms.
Ironically, scientific research has found that the best treatments for curing PTSD use the same principles as in training for war. Cognitive therapy, for example, teaches soldiers to control and adjust their willingness to perceive threats (i.e. by lowering their cautiousness as opposed to training them to be more alert.) Another example is exposure therapy, which is like military field training but for home life. Exposure therapy might involve sending a veteran to a public place like a restaurant and forcing them to sit with their back to the door (rather than in a position where they can scan the room.)
Rehabilitating Veteran Soldiers
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