Utilising EMDR Therapy with Military Personnel and Veterans Webinar


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EMDR Central-Scotland Regional Group and EMDR Association UK present:

Utilising EMDR Therapy with Military Personnel and Veterans Webinar – 18th November 2021

In Memory of Dr E.C. Hurley

Eminent International speakers in the field will be presenting on this interesting and engaging study day. EMDR UK support team will be managing this event and all surplus funds raised will be donated to the EMDR Association UK designated research fund. The event was charged at £50 for EMDR Association Members and £100 for Non-Members.


Matthew Wesson – 8.30am – 9.15am – Combat Related PTSD and the ‘not-so’ NICE Guidelines

Description: This presentation will explore the alarming caveat in NICE 2018 Guidelines that does not recommend EMDR Therapy as a first line treatment for Combat Related PTSD (CRPTSD). Six key areas will be discussed including research findings, funding issues, the influence of the US Department of Defense and other possible political agendas that led to the controversial decision for Trauma focussed CBT being recommended above EMDR Therapy for this diagnosis.

Biography: Matthew Wesson is a Senior EMDR Europe accredited Trainer, President Elect of the EMDR Association UK and a BABCP Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist. He has over 20 years ’experience in the field of mental health in numerous different settings including defence, NHS, industry and private practice. Matt specialises in CR-PTSD through his 21 years ’experience in the military both in the UK and combat zones abroad including Iraq and Afghanistan. He has had several articles published in peer-reviewed journals on both EMDR & CBT, and has presented at international conferences.


Steven Silver – 9.15am – 10.15am – EMDR & Existential Issues for Traumatized War Survivors

Description: Many survivors of wars find themselves in the aftermath suffering crises of an existential nature – these crises may impact their religious beliefs, value systems, personal identities, meaning in life, or moral and ethical structures. This complex array can contribute to shame, guilt, social isolation and a difficulty even in expressing the nature of the difficulty; for many, the existential crisis is finally resolved by suicide. While EMDR can be highly effective in the resolution of the crisis, targeting the issues can be difficult for both the client and the clinician. Dr.Silver will use case examples to provide attendees with concrete approaches to these problems drawing upon his nearly fifty years of work with war survivors and over thirty years of work with EMDR.


Steven Silver, Ph.D., is a psychologist who was trained in EMDR in 1991 by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. She selected him to be a Trainer for the EMDR Institute and was the first Programs Chair for the non-profit EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program. A veteran of both the United States Marine Corps and the U. S. Army, he has worked with combat veterans and their families since 1972 and for 26 years was the director of an inpatient PTSD Program for combat veterans. He led humanitarian relief teams to Bangladesh, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Northern Ireland. Co-author, with Dr. Susan Rogers, of “Light in the heart of darkness: EMDR and the treatment of war and terrorism survivors,” he has over 50 publications to his credit. A recipient of the Elizabeth Snyker Memorial Award (EMDR-HAP), the Ronald A. Martinez, Ph.D., Memorial Award (EMDR Institute), and the Outstanding and Sustained Service Award, (EMDR International Association), he was the primary EMDR consultant to the U.S. Army Empirically Validated Trauma Treatment Training Program. He has been a consultant to over 800 EMDR clinicians. He is a Certified Clinician and Approved Consultant with the EMDR International Association and is a Senior Trainer with the EMDR Institute.

10.15am – 10.30am – Q&A
10.30am – 10.40am – BREAK


Murray Raskind – 10.40am – 11.40am – “Prazosin for Posttraumatic stress disorder: A Personalized Medicine Approach”.

Description: Prazosin is a brain active alpha 1 adrenoreceptor antagonist that has been demonstrated effective for PTSD nightmares, sleep disruption and daytime hyperarousal in most but not all randomized controlled trials. It’s mechanism of action for PTSD symptoms likely is reduction of excessive brain noradrenergic signalling. This presentation will review how prazosin as an effective therapeutic for these characteristics of individual patients increase likelihood that prazosin will be effective for patients with PTSD.

Biography: Murray Raskind, MD is the founding Director of the VA Northwest Network (VISN 20) Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Following internal medicine residency at the Columbia University- Harlem Hospital Center, Dr. Raskind completed psychiatry residency at the University of Washington where he has remained on the faculty to the present. His past academic and clinical leadership positions at the University of Washington and the affiliated VA Puget Sound Health Care System have included Director of the VA Puget Sound Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Director of the University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health. Working clinically as co-facilitator of the Black Veterans Support Group of Puget Sound, Dr. Raskind discovered and developed the repurposed antihypertensive drug prazosin to treat PTSD trauma nightmares, distressed awakenings and daytime re-experiencing and hyperarousal symptoms. Approximately 100,000 Veterans diagnosed with PTSD in VA health care were prescribed prazosin in 2019. He and colleagues have extended prazosin research to other behavioral disorders with increased noradrenergic signaling including alcohol use disorder and disruptive agitation in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Raskind was the 2011 recipient of the John Barnwell Award from VA Clinical Sciences R&D for excellence in clinical research.

11.40am – 11.50am – Q&A
11.50am – 12.00pm – BREAK


Mark Russell – 12.00pm – 1.00pm – EMDR in war related medically unexplained symptoms

Description: The psychological impact of war and trauma in general, is often underestimated by military, government, medical, and media officials who focus primarily on well-known conditions like depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while ignoring the complex psychophysical toll of modern warfare. These effects are clearly evident in “war syndromes,” many of which can be collectively understood as medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS). This presentation provides a brief historical review of common trauma-related MUPS, the phenomena of functional syndromes and their prevalence. Several EMDR therapy case studies are examined in treating military personnel with an array of psychosomatic symptoms including myoclonic tics, non-cardiac chest pain, idiopathic/pseudo-seizures, irritable bowel syndrome, GERD/reflux, chronic fatigue, and atypical migraine headaches, as well as the treatment of phantom limb sensations and pain from traumatic limb amputation.

Biography: Mark is a retired Navy Commander, and clinical psychologist with over 26-years of military service including 10-years as an enlisted Marine. He is dual-Board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in clinical psychology and clinical child and adolescent psychology. He served as Francine Shapiro’s research assistant from 1989-1991 and became the first active-duty EMDR trainer in the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for training over 256 uniformed mental health providers and measuring therapeutic outcomes in actual military clinical settings. He has authored multiple EMDR case studies involving active-duty military personnel including the application of EMDR on the frontlines, treating medically unexplained physical symptoms, traumatic grief, and phantom limb pain from traumatic amputation. Co-author of Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnel: An EMDR Practitioner’s Guide (Routledge, 2013) and Psychiatric Casualties: How and why the military ignores the full cost of war (Columbia University Press, June 2021) with Charles Figley, and co-authored Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR therapy): Theories of Psychotherapy Series with Francine Shapiro (American Psychological Association, November 2021). Mark has acquired expertise on war and other traumatic stress injuries as featured in USA Today (2007) and the 2015 documentary film, Thank You for Your Service! He was awarded the Distinguished Psychologist Award by the Washington State Psychological Association and the Meritorious Service Medal by the President of the United States for his sustained effort to transform military mental healthcare, as well as the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Service in the Field of Trauma Psychology by the American Psychological Association Division 56 Trauma Psychology. Mark is the establishing Director, of Antioch University’s Institute of War Stress Injury, Recovery, and Social Justice, dedicated to promote equality of mental and physical health by ending the generational cycle of preventable wartime behavioral health crises.

1.00pm – 1.10pm – Q&A