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PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Curing PTSD

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

(Including some debate at the end of this message)

Hi Everyone,

Gene Douglas works with prisoners, many of whom are beset with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He has his challenges in delivering these procedures, of course, because gaining rapport is sometimes difficult with this population. Some of my own experiences with prisoners and rapport are given on our web site in my articles entitled Rapport in the Prison System and Jewels in the Junkyard.

In his message below, Gene uses the term "cure" regarding many of his PTSD cases. In conventional circles this is often a no-no word. While the reasons vary, the essence of the resistance is that PTSD is considered incurable by those who have never had true success with it (i.e. most conventional practitioners). Thus, to use the word "cure" is to, presumably, hold out false hope to the afflicted. It borders on unethical behavior and charlatanism to those that have never cured a single case of PTSD.

Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with the word "cure." Seems pretty accurate to me. Besides, what else should we call it when the problem goes away and doesn't come back? If it wasn't for the disbelievers, I think "cure" would be right on. But to appease the disbelievers (until they have more evidence), how about these acronyms....? (smile)

PSPN=Possible Suspension of the Problem for NowAHS=Apparent Hibernation of the Symptoms

Maybe we should just call it Luck or Magic--anything but "cure." Geez!

Enough! Gene also demonstrates a creative method for backing off and then sneaking up on an intense PTSD issue. I think you will find his message important.

Hugs, Gary

by Gene Douglas

Hi Gary,

I get so used to "miraculous" cures, I almost forget to mention them. I have cured a number of cases of PTSD in single sessions. One early case was of a woman who was riding in a taxi in Washington DC, and a bullet struck the window of the cab. Had it not been defective, and nearly spent, it would have hit her in the neck.

She had been experiencing symptoms of PTSD for months, and we removed them in a few minutes. Since then, a number of PTSD cases have come and gone, many quickly successful.

At the prison where I work, there is a veteran who is getting out in about a month. I consider him a great American, that we owe a lot to, though for now he is considered "nothing but a convict."

About a year ago, I saw him for a symptom of some kind, probably insomnia. At the time, I didn't know his history. I treated him for regret at getting himself into prison. Somebody had threatened to kill him, had driven a truck up into his driveway and was walking toward his door. He killed the person, and learned later that that was not self-defense.

I also treated him for some feelings in regard to a traffic accident in Viet Nam, and didn't hear from him for about a year. Recently, he came back, with more symptoms, including insomnia and nightmares, of the recurring, repeating variety. He had that drugged-out PTSD look they get when the doctors load them up on tranquilizers to mask their feelings.

We tried EFT and TAT, but his feelings were so strong that he was unable to continue, just thinking about the events, including being a prisoner of war and being tortured. He showed me some pretty bad scars, including a stab wound in his abdomen, from torture.

I backed up, and addressed his being drafted at age 19. No strong feelings. Training, just excitement and anticipation. Further trainings, and eventually Ranger training. Excitement and anticipation. Leaving for Viet Nam, the same. Arriving in Viet Nam, excitement and fear, a 10 for each.

We treated, the fear went to zero, and the excitement remained a 10. He told me some stories, and the session was ended. A week later, he was having nightmares, but not so many. I treated his getting on a helicopter for the first time, 10 to zero. Arriving at the battle scene, 10 to zero. Beginning the first battle, 10 to zero. End of the battle, a zero. Living with a small group in the bush for six months, and evading detection, zero, while the previous week it had been way up there. Being captured, zero. Being tortured, zero.

His explanation was that it had been so long, it didn't matter any more.

GC COMMENT: This is a classic example of the Apex effect.

I thought he was just suppressing, and expected to see strong feeling again, as he had shown before. Those two sessions, I also noticed his miming my hand gestures, without his noticing that he was doing that.

A week later, he said the nightmares were gone, he was sleeping better, and said the thought of those scenes didn't bother him, because it was so long ago. For the first time, I could see emotion in his face and voice, and the flat, dead affect was gone. That, together with the absent nightmares, seemed to be my best evidence of improvement. A week later we met again, and it was the same. He was scheduled to see the psychiatrist after that, and I am wondering if his meds will be reduced.

I expect to see him as much as possible, simply because he will be getting out soon, and the treatment out there may not be as effective as he seems to be getting now. PTSD used to be considered incurable, and when I was using EMDR, feelings would shoot through the roof and the client would quit.

However, in this case, I "sneaked up on it" by addressing the least stressful aspect first, and gradually approaching the more stressful aspects after some treatment was already done. I had done something similar a year earlier, in addressing starting out on the road the day of the accident, getting close to the accident scene, and so forth. That gradual strategy was successful then, and also in this latter case.

Gene Douglas

Note: A debate ensued regarding the word "cure".
Here are two important responses from that debate.


Dear Gary,

Perhaps my M.D. credentials can add some light to the dialog you are having regarding the word "cure."

In standard medicine, when dealing with the majority of the cancers, if a person is disease free for 5 years, this in most cases is considered a cure. I'm not sure why cases of psychologic healing are held to a different standard.

I have personally dealt with at least 4 cases of PTSD, and numerous cases of long term abuse. In each case, after 1-2 sessions of EFT all of their symptoms were gone. In fact, with many of these cases, the patients' physical complaints diminished or disappeared after clearing up the emotional aspects. I have over one year followup on these patients, with no recurrence of symptoms, either physical or psychological.

I believe that for true psychologic change to occur, the change must happen at the unconscious level. For me, I know I am working at the unconscious level by asking the person where they feel the trauma or the emotions IN THEIR BODY. I then know that I have cleared the problem at the unconscious level when the person cannot feel the trauma or emotions in their body as they once did. This is a far cry from talk therapy, where most change is made at the conscious level. With conscious changes, the person my try to think or cognize differently, but there is little change in the way the client feels the problem in their body.

EFT is one of very few modalities that causes a true and lasting PHYSIOLOGIC change in the body. It has been a welcome addition to my practice of standard medicine.

Sincerely, Eric Robins, MD


Yesterday, I attended my 50th 'client'. (a mile-stone of sorts). She's 19-years old and three days ago was raped by her boyfriend. He also attempted to break both of her arms. He forced her left eyelids open and held a live cigarette lighter close to her eyeball. He attempted to strangle her, then sodomised her then, just for drill, he beat her face to a pulp. She came to me, a complete mess (hardly surprising) as a result of my helping her mother through some serious issues.

My first words were...Mikaela, if I help you no jury in the land will convict this man because you will be incapable of evincing 'any' emotional import to what he did to you. And so, if revenge is your immediate need it would be better if you filed a complete police report, waited for the trial, and then I can help you off-load your agony. She replied, with tears and mucous streaming down her battered face, a result of incohate agony, "Make 'it' (the pain) go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And so I did. I worked with Mikaela, blow-by-blow, indignity-by-indignity. assault-by-assault, agony-by-agony. For the thick end of three long hours we went to every nuance, every apsect....believe me there were heaps of subjective/supportive aspects from her childhood.... till we got every one of them from tens to zeros.

I called on Mikaela this morning, for a follow-up. Her comment was, "You know David, I feel really sorry for Paul (the rapist). How much shit do you think is on his head? Do you think you can help him?"

Every little moment of the entire episode is still with her, yet her pain has gone, and she feels genuinely sorry for her rapist! Nar! Can't have been EFT. It must have been something in the water she didn't drink.

David Peppiatt


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