“Any traumatic event or series of events can cause PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and nearly 7.7 million Americans suffer from PTSD in any given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. A neuropsychiatric illness that was first formally diagnosed in soldiers and war veterans, it is now recognized to afflict many civilians as well. Symptoms include re-experiencing the trauma through flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and nightmares, avoidance of reminders of the trauma, excessive anxiety and trouble concentrating. Many people with PTSD also develop depression and substance abuse problems. Recent data from Afghanistan and Iraq suggest that more than one in ten military personnel involved in these conflicts develop PTSD.” Science News, Jan. 10, 2009.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy has been proven effective at reducing trauma symptoms and Brainspotting, while newer and less researched, has shown to also facilitate resolution of trauma.  Both of these therapies can be implemented in the ski milieu, and are supplemented by the right/left motor activity of skiing and snowboarding.  One ½ day or whole day, or multiple day intensive treatments support healing and taper traumatic symptoms.

While the strict definition of PTSD offered in the DSM IV-R rules out the diagnosis for cases of long-term neglect without physical violence, many people experience traumatic symptoms such as over-reaction, avoidance, relationship difficulties, addiction, and somatic difficulties from their experience as children.  While many of these people do not recognize themselves as “trauma victims” they seek treatment from counselors who often employ EMDR and other somatic techniques as relevant, effective treatment.

EMDR page from Aetna Inc.
Brainspotting information from David Grande, Ph.D.
more information from EMDR International Association