A Creative Group Proposal for Assisting Veterans

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Rational and Introduction Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can certainly have a negative effect on a returning service member’s life. Approximately 30% of people who have been in war zones develop PTSD. The rates of PTSD for veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are conservatively estimated to be 11% and 18% respectively, with a higher rate for veterans of the war in Iraq because of greater combat exposure (Collie, 2006, p.1). Because of the debilitating affect of the disorder many veterans are trapped in this endless seeming cycle agony and helplessness. Individuals with PTSD describe years of declining invitations to social and family events to avoid anxiety and anger. In extreme cases, individuals endorse fear and discomfort about leaving the house at all, which they characterize as shameful and demoralizing. Thus, many individuals with PTSD perceive themselves as trapped in a cycle that reinforces avoidance of situations, which may trigger anxiety and depression (Smyth, 2007, p.1). Because of the horrifying effect of war, the need for mental health services is great than ever. 35% of Iraq war veterans accessed mental health services in the year after returning home (Collie, 2006, p.2). However, the issue is that many veterans are not getting the proper help through traditional forms of therapy. Traumatic memories are encoded differently than non-traumatic memories in which they appear locked in the right brain, and therefore less accessible through verbal

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