Laura Bender, MEd, LPC                                                                         (541) 788-7989

BEND COUNSELING                                       Dedicated to Empowering You                   

Adult, Child and Family Therapy

Soldiers in combat returning home with wounded hearts.

        For our Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress


You served. You fought. Or you supported the ones on the lines. You saw things nobody should have to see. Heard things nobody should have to hear. Did things nobody should have to do. You lost a brother or sister or two. With them you lost a part of yourself. Part of you came home. Life will never be the same. Your life here is not what it was. It can't be. Now a noise or a smell can flip you out without warning. Your patience is razor thin and your nerves are shot. Crowds are too much, and you never relax. And how can you explain survivor guilt, and all the other baggage you brought back when you came home? Or the (widening?) gap that exists between you and your loved ones, who will never truly understand? Some things you once thought important seem to mean nothing. You often feel nothing at all. Maybe you lean on something that helps you not to feel. Or helps you feel something, anything.  And that damned isolation. 


But there is hope. Do you know about EMDR? Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It works by changing the way traumatic memory is stored in your brain. Differences between "normal" and traumatic memories include how they are encoded. Due to activation of the fight, flight or freeze response, a traumatic memory fails to be processed like a typical memory is. That is why it feels like it's still happening right now. EMDR addresses this issue by helping your brain contextualize the memory in the part of the brain which can hold awareness that it really is over now. You are safe now.  That is why you want to see an EMDR therapist. And if you have had a negative experience with EMDR in the past, find a NEW EMDR therapist who can help you learn to modulate your physiological responses and work towards healing. You owe it to yourself.