Sep 3, 2013 12:14 PM by Ryan Haarer
TUCSON- In Arizona there is a network in place to help people cope with tragedy. This group of therapists often offer pro bono work using EMDR therapy.
The Yarnell Hill Wildfire did not only affect families of the lost hotshots. The community was devestated by the deaths and the destruction the fire did to the area.
"Fortunately we have the Arizona EMDR Trauma Response and Recovery Network in place and so we were able to get up there within two weeks and provide training to therapists up there about how to use EMDR," said Julie Miller, a certified EMDR therapist.
EMDR is eye-movement, desensitization and reprocessing. the EMDR equipment is a light bar and a patient watch the lights as they move back and forth breaking down roadblocks the brain has put up to protect the person.
"when someone has something traumatic happen there are places in the brain that literally go dark. So what seems to happen with the bilateral stimulation, left, right, left right, either eye movements or kinesthetic stimulation, that both sides of the brain will just light up. And so, they can finally work through the issue that they've gotten stuck with," said Miller.
EMDR has been used in major events across the country, from the Sandy Hook shootings, the Tucson shootings, the Boston bombings and originally on veterans with PTSD.
"Anything that was impacting them, with depression or anxiety, that's going to be removed if it was based on the trauma. So it's a way to put the past in that past and be able to move forward with their lives."
EMDR does not have to be used right after a tragedy. It can be used to treat symptoms long after an event happens. For more information on the EMDR Trauma Response and Recovery Network visit www.aetr2n.net.