New Research Shows Therapy Programme Effective for Treating Veterans’ Mental Health

A new study by researchers at Nottingham Trent University provides strong evidence for the effectiveness of the charity PTSD Resolution’s programme in treating mental health symptoms experienced by former members of the UK armed forces. Analysing data from over 200 veterans who registered for treatment between 2020-2023, Project-100 found significant improvements across a range of clinical measures.

PTSD Resolution uses Human Givens Therapy (HGT) exclusively, through a UK network of 200  Human Givens registered therapists, to help veterans, reservists and family members struggling with conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and depression.  Founded in 2009, the charity is accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists to the Quality Network for Veterans Mental Health Services (QNVMHS).

Clients either self-refer to the programme or are referred by organisations such as Care After Combat, Op Courage, Op Nova, and The Ripple Pond. The programme does not use medication, relying instead on well-established therapeutic techniques like cognitive reframing and guided imagery delivered using the Human Givens approach. One innovative technique utilised is Rewind, which aims to help veterans process traumatic memories.  Delivery is in person or online.

The Nottingham Trent research examined veterans’ scores on five standardised clinical measures of mental health, including questionnaires for anxiety, depression, PTSD symptoms, psychological distress and personal recovery. Across all measures, veterans showed statistically significant improvement from the beginning to the end of therapy.

For example, in a common measure of anxiety called GAD-7, 89% of veterans initially scored at clinical levels indicating significant anxiety. After completing therapy, 56% no longer had clinical anxiety. Similar patterns were seen for the other four measures as well. The average degree of improvement was large, over one standard deviation on all measures.

“This research provides clear evidence that the therapy programme leads to substantial reductions in symptoms for the majority of veterans,” explained project coordinator Bill Andrews. “For anxiety, depression, PTSD and overall psychological distress, approximately half of clients who began therapy at clinical levels no longer had symptoms severe enough to be considered clinically significant cases after finishing therapy.”

Programme Results

Not only did veterans improve by the end of therapy, but follow-up data indicates these gains were largely maintained. The researchers also identified a key factor that predicted better outcomes in therapy. Of the 198 clients, 171 (86.4%) completed the therapy programme as planned between themselves and their therapist, indicating the very high level of acceptability of the treatment.

In terms of programme completion, veterans’ age was predictive, with older veterans being less likely to drop out of therapy prematurely. However, the therapy outcomes and drop-out rates did not significantly differ between the 49 therapists providing treatment, indicating consistency in service delivery.

Client feedback surveys revealed extremely high satisfaction with both the therapists and the programme. Veteran-set goals for therapy also showed steady improvement over the course of treatment. By the end, veterans rated their personal therapeutic goals as being largely achieved.

“This data provides reassurance that veterans are benefiting greatly from the therapy programme, regardless of the individual therapist they see,” said Andrews. “The consistent results speak to the strengths of the programme’s training and supervision models for clinicians. The breadth of quantitative outcome data strongly supports this therapy approach to be scaled up to help more veterans recover their mental health and well-being.”

Charles Highett, CEO of PTSD Resolution, commenting on the research findings, says:

“We are thrilled to see this data validating the effectiveness of our therapy programme. At PTSD Resolution, our mission is to deliver prompt, free and effective care to veterans struggling with mental health issues. These robust research results from Nottingham Trent University demonstrate that our network of highly trained therapists is doing just that – significantly improving veterans’ symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD.

“I’m proud we have been able to help over 4,000 veterans recover and regain their mental well-being. My heartfelt thanks go to our dedicated therapists nationwide who have made this life-changing work possible, and to every veteran who has put their trust in PTSD Resolution. With these encouraging outcomes, I’m hopeful we can expand our services to support even more veterans and their families in the future.”

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By @Cobseo 54 years ago

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