I came across this article the other day, entitled “War Veterans Try Yoga, Hiking, Horseback Riding to Treat PTSD” ( http://online.wsj.com/articles/war-veterans-try-yoga-hiking-horseback-riding-to-treat-ptsd-1410537293 ). As you can imagine, my first thought was, “What about filmmaking???” It’s an excellent article, which highlights the different methods veterans are trying out to heal woulds left by their war experiences. Interestingly, it notes that veterans and medical advocates alike are pressuring the VA to expand the range of PTSD treatments for those who can’t find relief from the standard regimen of drugs and talk therapy.
We are delighted to see articles like this getting published, that help increase awareness of alteranative ways to treat PTS.
What differentiates I WAS THERE’s approach are two important things. First, filmmaking is narrative therapy that is inherently collaborative – it is very difficult to make a film on your own. The group or team experience addresses the isolation and loneliness that many veterans suffer upon return to civilian life. Second, with video, we’re using a medium most of our younger veterans are very familiar and comfortable with. In this accessible medium of filmmaking, veterans are in control of the way they interact with and portray their own history, through a powerful visual medium. And it’s proving again and again to be a critical step forward in managing their PTS.