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My approach
People often phone wanting to know if I do EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprogramming), a trendy and widely-used treatment for PTSD. The EMDR people obviously have a terrific PR machine, but EMDR is not among the treatments strongly recommended by the American Psychological Association. A proponent of the technique, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, concedes it is ineffective in dealing with traumas such as child abuse (an extremely common cause of PTSD).

Like many trauma therapists, I follow APA recommendations and use techniques based on cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT for trauma needs to be "trauma-informed" (linking to past trauma) rather than focused strictly on the present. You "unlearn" the toxic messages from past trauma, and the effort can yield astonishing results--but it is time-consuming.

If you're looking for a "fast-food" solution to PTSD, sorry, there isn't one.
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