Suncoast veterans suffering PTSD may find relief in a free program that combines senses and virtual reality

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Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 5:31 pm | Updated: 12:30 pm, Thu Jul 11, 2013.

LAKEWOOD RANCH - Sights, sounds and smells help veterans suffering PTSD emerse themselves in the exposure treatment as a way to heal. Its all part of a research program offered free to veterans and active duty personnel.

Sensory exposure combined with virtual reality software helps recreate the traumatic event that allow them to think about it repeatedly so that it no longer creates anxiety.

Lakewood Ranch resident Bob Delaney is a Post Traumatic Stress educator and author of the book, "Surviving the Shadows - A Journey of Hope into Post-Traumatic Stress" He said, "Triggers can happen by sight, smell, sound and target dates. A date on a calendar can be your trigger date, we had a National nine-eleven trigger date on the tenth anniversary, it brings us all back to what we've experienced on that day."

Delaney says one type of therapy doesn't fits all. "It doesn't mean its going to work for everyone but you have to make yourself available to the various types of therapies in order to find out what works for you."

The University of Central Florida offers these therapies as part of their research program.

The Orlando based three-week program funded by the Department of Defense is free to veterans and active duty personnel. It includes housing, and daily treatment at no cost to veterans on the Suncoast and around the country.

For more information visit their website.

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