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Emerging Treatments

As our understanding of neuropsychological pathways increases, we can develop new and innovative ways to treat conditions associated with trauma. At the Military Family Wellness Center, we are constantly evaluating how we can improve the care we provide to veterans and active service members. We measure improvement regarding the effectiveness and the accessibility of the treatment, including how comfortable and confident people feel about the form of therapy.

Here are some unique approaches currently in development for the treatment of PTSD. Please note that the following procedures are under research development, and as such, are not considered proven treatments.

Equine-Assisted Therapy for PTSD (EAT-PTSD): Equine-assisted therapy for PTSD is an experiential, group treatment. During eight 90-minute sessions on a farm in New Jersey, you perform various exercises with a horse, itself a uniquely sensitive and responsive animal. Benefits potentially including learning to recognize and regulate your emotional reactions and communicate effectively with others. Each session includes a highly trained equine specialist, a mental health professional, an experienced horse wrangler, and two horses in groups of up to six people.

Meetings consist of increasingly sophisticated encounters and interactions with horses, accompanied by feedback and direction from the treatment team. EAT-PTSD is believed to work in part by helping you become attuned to the reactions of the animals. As this is an experimental treatment, EAT-PTSD is provided in the context of research participation. We provide transportation to and from the farm. Research participants are compensated for their involvement.

This treatment is only available to service members and veterans with PTSD.

Attention-Bias Modification Treatment (ABMT): Emerging research shows people with anxiety disorders, such as PTSD, tend to pay utmost attention to threats in the environment. This finding has led to the development of a computer-based treatment known as Attention-Bias Modification Treatment. The goal of this treatment is to modify participants’ bias to focus on environmental threats, which may improve their symptoms of PTSD. This treatment involves eight 20-minute computer-based training sessions and is open to anyone who meets symptom criteria for PTSD. Compensation is provided for research participation.