Virtual Therapy Helps Veterans Suffering From PTSD

Veterans may be interested in a new form of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. In an effort to create greater access to psychiatric help, the Department of Veterans Affairs just launched a new program that uses virtual therapy to link veterans to psychologists through software like Skype and Cisco Jabber. The program creates greater schedule flexibility and brings top-of-the-line mental health care to veterans located in areas that may not access to the same care locally.

One veteran who participated in the pilot program said it has helped him move past his mental issues and regain a more balanced life. Although he lives and works in Yuma, Arizona, he participates in weekly therapy with a La Jolla, California-based psychologist via the Internet. The veteran says he has a therapist he can see whenever he needs one, no matter where he is located. His psychologist said she believes virtual therapy is the wave of the future of treating PTSD and can allow veterans to seek out help on their own terms.

The very act of seeking help is often the biggest obstacle for many veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. According to one psychologist, many veterans have a stigma when it comes to therapy. However, she said many veterans may feel more inclined to get help if they can do so discreetly and conveniently and if they see other veterans getting the same treatment.

As more veterans return home from deployment, the severity of post-traumatic stress disorder has become more apparent. Many sufferers of post-combat stress feel like there is no help for them or that the system is too confusing to navigate in search of help. An attorney who works with veterans could consult with a suffering individual and assist them in obtaining the help and therapy they need.

Source: NBC Latino, “New ”virtual” therapy is a lifeline for veteran with PTSD”, Melissa Adan, July 18, 2013.