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Phil Chave
Phil Chave
creator of Distant Healer

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Help for Veterans

Helping ex-servicemen and veterans suffering from war trauma, including depression, PTSD, suicidal thoughts, stress, anxiety, mood swings, guilt, grief, alcohol and substance abuse

Some memories come with a frame around them so they will not be forgotten.
Very few traumatic events can compete with the horrors of war. The aftermath, for those who survive, include constant battlegrounds within the soldiers' psyche. Flashbacks, deep anxiety, nightmares, and on, and on it goes.

Over the past 15 years, I have become interested in, and use with great frequency, a little known technique called The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to give rapid emotional relief to our war veterans and other post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferers.

Increasingly, EFT is being used to help relieve the emotional anguish of people who are involved in traumatic events that cause PTSD. Events such as an accident, rape, fire, acts of violence, mugging, war trauma for veterans and civilians, harassment and abuse, can all damage health and cause PTSD.

Other causes of PTSD may be a natural disaster, such as the Tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day 2004, killing nearly 300,000 people. Some disasters may be slightly more local, but also have devastating consequences for the people that survive. Natural events, such as a hurricane, tornado, forest fire, flood, landslides, to name a few.

The symptoms of PTSD are many and varied
I know of cases of war veterans who are afraid to go to sleep at night because of the recurring nightmares they expect. They have mood swings and anxiety. They sweat with traumatic memory. They shake from hallucinations and stress. They have headaches and insomnia. They have distress and numbness in the limbs. They have bouts of anger, tears, guilt and grief, and they are visited perpetually by memories of destruction, death and pain. When they wake up, some have no idea where they are and imagine they are in a war zone, or a prisoner-of-war camp.

Characteristically, when they have a PTSD event, the memory is SO INTENSE, they can litterally "see it", "hear it", "smell it", and even "taste it", it's so vivid. An intrusive thought, a negative thought or memory can be made very real by our senses. It's hardly any wonder that for some of these men, their families don't recognize them anymore. They have trouble holding down jobs, relationships become strained, or impossible, friendships crumble, just because it's really hard for people around them to understand what's going on.

UNTIL NOW, RELIEF FOR THIS DREADFUL AFFLICTION HAS BEEN RATHER HARD TO COME BY. Some men, and women, have spent years in psychotherapy, and even now, after all this time, still suffer with war trauma. They feel alienated from themselves, alienated from their families, their friends, their work colleges, their jobs and society in general.

Fortunately, relief is now often achievable through a relatively little known technique called EFT. The technique has been developed by Gary Craig, who is an extremely enthusiastic and charismatic exponent of the procedure, who patterned EFT after some remarkable discoveries made by Dr.Roger Callahan.

EFT is based on the premise that:
The cause of all negative emotions (including PTSD), is a disruption in the body's energy system.

The techniques appear strange at first, but are based on solid scientific principles. They require tapping on the body's energy system while the veteran is "tuned into" the emotional problem. Doing so balances the energy meridians and produces rapid, long lasting relief for traumatic memories. These are very powerful techniques with a high success rate. They are not painful, emotionally or physically, and offer an emotional reset that can be otherwise hard to come by.

It is heart breaking to listen to some of these men, hearing about what they had to do just to survive, how they were forced to witness, or sometimes suffer, the worst atrocities of man's inhumanity to man. Given some of these stories, I have to say that, in my view, many of these men have also had to be just as brave since the war as they were during the war. The aftermath of war, has left many of our veterans with far bigger battles to fight since the conflict, than perhaps they were faced with during war. I have nothing but a deep respect for these valiant men, coupled with a desire to help them in whatever way I can.

Real Story - BBC2 - 29 Nov 2004
On this program one ex-soldier was interviewed by the BBC and I heard him say:
"I would trade the rest of my life if I could just have ONE normal day".

I believe that EFT could give him many, many normal days, and it wouldn't cost him his life. In fact, it could even give it back to him! Don't we owe that, and more, to our brave servicemen and women?

Which conflict were you involved with?
Iraq 2003-11
Afghanistan 2001-14
Kosovo 1999
Bosnia 1992-95
The Gulf War 1990-91
The Falklands 1982
Northern Ireland 1969-98
World War II 1939-45
World War I 1914-18

It would be ideal if the men returning from a war zone, were able to switch off from that activity and switch on to homelife, their wives, children, mortgages and jobs. What the rest of us would call "normal", I guess. In no conflict within living memory has this idealic situation been achieved. Instead, there is a high incidence of inadequate provision which has resulted in psychological, social and personal costs to affected soldiers and their families.

Part of the problem with PTSD is the trust factor. It's not just the memories that are a problem, but it's being able to trust who it is you're sharing them with. Healing from PTSD, using EFT, occurs THROUGH the practitioner, not BY the practitioner. This is fundamental, and is the reason I think this process is so successful.

Sometimes it takes great skill just to get someone to do EFT. Ex-soldiers have often, in the past, been unable to ask anyone for help, as any perceived "weakness", can be seen as a sign of failure, and this can be doubly difficult when the ex-soldier is a "macho veteran", with a self image which resists help of any kind. I have found that sufferers of ALL types of trauma, including war trauma, find it very easy to communicate with a caring therapist, who approaches this aspect in the right way.

Time does not heal trauma, but the sympathetic therapist who works WITH this attribute of the veteran at the forefront, is the one most likely to be able to help them come to terms with their war memories and experiences, and, ultimately, bring some closure to the emotional trauma.

This is where other family members can help, as it is often they who will organize a meeting or initiate help for their partners and family members. Current monitoring programs rely on ex-soldiers seeking out help for themselves, and this is where the system falls down. Evidence suggests that stigma and discrimination are a contributing factor to undiagnosed PTSD and mental health problems in ex-servicemen. So, if their families don't inform someone there is a problem, no help arrives.

Most often, simple phobias that develop during childhood, often go away in time. Those that continue into adulthood, or start in adulthood because of war trauma, for example, rarely go away without treatment. Soldiers are still being diagnosed with PTSD and related mental health problems, more than ten years after the first Gulf War ended. MOD research has concluded that veterans with a delayed diagnosis become more severely ill than those recognised soon after returning home from a conflict or peacekeeping mission.

The MOD and NHS have opted to use medication, usually tranquilizers, as a way of masking and easing the PTSD associated symptoms of depression and anxiety and to help with insomnia. If this really was a long term solution, we wouldn't have one in four homeless people coming from former members of the armed services (A Shelter statistic). Thousands of ex-servicemen now live rough or in sheltered accommodation. Many end up in prison, or on drugs or alcohol. The MOD's own figures show that more ex-service personnel who served in the Falklands War and the first Gulf War, committed suicide after returning home than were killed in the wars themselves. Clearly, more needs to be done to get help where it's needed most!

PTSD often manifests as a phobia of some kind. There are many phobias. Some are minor irritations, but others can be so severe that the sufferer feels they are going to die. Others hide and bottle up their feeling so tight that they eventually "pop!" and go into a frenzy of self destruction. Some are so afraid to recount their memories, for fear of the effects it will have on people close to them, that they turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the feelings and suppress them. This also, is a form of self destruction.

Some of the issues we are talking about include things like: Anxiety, palpitations, sweating, hot/cold flashes, trembling, choking, smothering, shaking, chest pain, dizziness, faintness, the need to flee a situation or location, nightmares, panic attacks, crowds, public transport, depression, feelings of 'unbearable sorrow', psychosis or brief psychotic reactions, intrusive flashbacks, substance and alcohol abuse and sexual dysfunction. Suicide is also a major factor of war trauma victims, who are many, many times more likely to end their own life, than is the average for the rest of the general population.

In the early 1990's and with UN backing, a peacekeeping force went to Bosnia as a vital component for restoring stability, and preventing a wider European conflict. Logic held that WWI began as a Balkan war and the Balkan crisis was set to spread in a similar way, perhaps culminating in WWIII. This kind of decision seems relatively easy to make in a Parliamentary War Cabinet, but not everyone felt the same way, and not everyone had to go and do the job.
Those that did, came home with terrible stories of the horrors of war, even those only there to keep the peace. War affects everybody; it seems the closer you are, the deeper the trauma.

This is what one soldier said after receiving EFT:
"I can't thank you enough for the peace I feel. I manage to sleep for a whole night now, without waking up in a terror sweat. I can close my eyes, knowing that the terrible memories of the things I've seen won't fill my head with sorrow and pain. Thank you for my peace of mind and thank god for EFT".
This kind of response is typical!

Help is Available to Reduce the PTSD in Soldiers Returning from Conflict.
Phobia sufferers usually find the results of EFT stunning! Conventional methods for phobia relief, as severe as those attributable to war trauma, usually take months or years to give any relief, and even then relief is only partial. EFT treatments for phobias are remarkably effective. But few people (including even fewer doctors) know about them.

The veterans on the BBC program referred to earlier (Real Story - BBC2 - 29 Nov 2004) also made mention that the psychologists were effectively doing them no good at all. That's really not surprising, since Gary Craig, the developer of EFT, has worked with Vietnam vets, who have themselves previously gotten, some would say, very little, out of 35 years of psychotherapy. EFT was shown to bring closure to many emotional and specific war events for these men, rapidly and without the "work through" pain that is associated with so many other therapies.

Just in case you are wondering about how long the results last, I have been doing EFT consistently for over 15 years now and have sufficient experience with it to ensure that we (myself and my client) are very thorough, and I am happy to report, the relief is usually permanent. This technique has been used on hundreds of mild (ie. height, flying, dentists etc.) and powerful (ie. panic, dread, horror, or terror) phobias and typically, they don't come back.

What's interesting about this is that, veterans do not forget the memory, that is not the intention. The memory is still there, they can still recount it as well as they ever could. The emotion, and the emotional response, normally attached to a memory of this magnitude, however, is neutralized. The memory, the thought, is no longer the emotional trigger that it once was. After the emotional PTSD response is removed, most people say it's like talking about a shopping trip or discussing a TV program or movie.

What can I do to help a family member of my own?
Do you have a father, grandfather, husband or boyfriend who served in the military and are now losing out on much of life? Is your family life being worn down because you have a family member with PTSD? Is someone else's clinging dependency having an effect on your relationship or your children? I'm afraid war does that to people! Suddenly, perfectly normal people become withdrawn, socially dysfunctional and all but lost to you. I would invite you to call or write; the details are below.

Don't forget, these days, it's not just blokes that go to war, and conflict induced PTSD is no longer just a male problem. Women make an essential contribution to today's armed services, being appointed to frontline duties on ships, in combat aircraft and in supporting roles to the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers.

One-to-one help is restricted to the United Kingdom on a personal or appointment level. Appointments are available here at The Haven Healing Centre and you are welcome to come here. If you think this is for you, and would like to give it a try, please contact me. To see how your location compares to mine please visit the Contact Phil Page, where you will find an address and phone number.

"ALL SOLDIERS HAVE NIGHTMARES" (A line by the character, Captain Nathan Algren, in the movie, "The Last Samurai")

And that's exactly where the problem lies! Soldiers can often suffer from intense nightmares.
We hear a lot about Combat Stress these days, but its other name, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), is rapidly becoming the epidemic that dare not speak its name. Why?

More and more ex-soldiers are coming home from engagements around the world and displaying symptoms of serious problems, including depression, substance abuse and PTSD. Some even display symptoms before they get home, known as rapid onset PTSD, and others don't show any signs for months or perhaps years after, called delayed onset PTSD. Around 25% will fall victim to PTSD. Most will feel depressed and desperate, some will feel suicidal. These men often see themselves, and others, pushed out of the services in disgrace when they seek the help they need.

Of course, from the services point of view, keeping someone in the forces who is showing signs of a mental illness is detrimental to the moral of the rest of the force, but allowing people to leave with a recognized and diagnosed problem, leaves the services with a potentially huge mental health benefits bill, not to mention the negative impact on any future recruitment drives.

I don't even know if it's as sinister as that! I can just hear somebody from the army saying; Well, they're tough. We made 'em tough. They'll get over it.

But I can tell you, most don't! A young man once told me how he was stood on a stool with a noose tied around his neck. He was sober. He then started drinking heavily, in the hope that he would slip off the stool, or get drunk enough to say "Fuck it! and step off". That's how desperate people become when they don't get the help they need, when they need it.

Denying a problem exists, either due to finances or ignorance, is a disgrace, but it's been that way for quite some time. Things have improved with recent conflicts and help is available through the NHS. But it's the same kind of help that has done very little to help, in the past.

Fact: The fighting may stop - but the trauma continues!
Soldiers who show signs of PTSD or other emotional problems, often turn to drugs or alcohol, or tranquilize their intense feelings with erratic behaviour, which is frowned on by the military. Being repeatedly cited for misconduct and expelled from the services with far less than an 'honourable discharge' has profound consequences to a committed soldier's self respect, and may even have considerable undue consequences back in civilian life

The end result of this is that officials are forcing soldiers with PTSD out of the services in a manner that is masking the medical problems.

The bottom line is; PTSD can cost you your family, your marriage, your job, your relationships, your health, your finances and lots of other things, including your life!

Fact: If you can stop your dreams - you can start to get better!
This is a bold statement..... But it's happening NOW! And it's working NOW! Come and try it for yourself.

The Haven Healing Centre - Trauma Therapy Service is a specialist side clinic of the practice for the treatment of PTSD, depression, substance abuse, self harm, anxiety, panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares and stress. There is a charge for treatment and I accept referrals from the public as well as GPs, clinics and other therapists.

Please contact me now, to make your appointment. Use this link to email:

FAQ's: How does this work?
If you're local, you may prefer to come on a weekly basis for roughly an hour at a time.
Where are you based?
My practice is in Cheddar, just south of Bristol City, and close to the airport.
What if I live far away?
Many clients travel great distances to reach here, sometimes hundreds of miles, on a round trip. Don't be put off by distance, it's results that count.
That's a long way for 1 hour?
People who travel long distances usually stay for several hours or a whole morning or afternoon.
What do you charge?
This is a private practice, and charges are 45 per hour. Whole mornings or whole afternoons receive a discount, with the cost coming down to 99 for up to 3 hours.
What if I need to see you again after my long session?
Because you will have been given itemised details of many coping strategies during your initial appointment, and practiced them, it is possible to receive 'top up' advice over the phone, or by Skype, whenever the need arises.
How many sessions will I need?
That depends on the speed of progress and the quality of progress you make during your sessions and how much practice you put in afterwards. Different sessions teach different strategies, unless we need to consolidate some previous ground.
Why should I pay you when I can get help free from the NHS?
Several reasons:
      1.) The NHS will supply you with as many drugs and knock out drops as you can stomach. You can go around in a daze for a while, but at the end of it, you'll be back to square 1. Drugs help you to cope, but they are not the answer.
      2.) When you get used to the medication you're on and they reduce in usefulness, you naturally look for something stronger.
      3.) After having waited months and months to see a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) practitioner, a soldier I know came away having been told to face up to his responsibilities and deal with his demons. Pretty profound!
            3a.) Of course, that's what he's been trying to do! The CBT guy just as well have put a gun to his head. Something this particular soldier had actually thought of on many occasions.
      4.) That leaves us with psychiatry and psychology...... When PTSD first raised its ugly head in any meaningful way, the Vietnam war was on and soldiers returning home to a less than joyful greeting, found it difficult or impossible to readjust back into civilian life. One of the criticisms of these types of therapy when I started using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) was that these men have been hospitalized or institutionalized for years, been on medication and in therapy for years longer and ARE STILL THERE!
Still in PAIN, on SUICIDE WATCH, DESPERATE, having NIGHTMARES, TRAUMATIZED, on DRUGS or ALCOHOL, DEPRESSED, and still experiencing uncontrollable, frightening AUDIO and VISUAL FLASHBACKS, 35 YEARS ON!
In light of that, anyone who thinks that psychiatry has any useful role to play here, needs their head examined!

So what can I do to help myself?
The worst mistake any PTSD sufferer can make is to try to treat themselves, self medicate or otherwise go it alone. The cumulative nature of untreated trauma is far more likely to keep you stuck in this nightmare for the rest of your life. I'm sorry if that seems bleak, but ............

If you can stand the journey, if you can invest the time, if you want your life back, email Let's get started right away!
The Healing Meditation CD The Cord Cutting Technique CD The Miracle of Self Healing CD
The Healers Self Healing Meditation CD - Playtime approx. 35mins The Cord Cutting Technique, a CD by Philip Chave The Miracle of Self Healing; a CD by Philip Chave

The Exercise in a Chair
Gentle Armchair Exercises
The Healing Garden Meditation CD Pre and Post-operative Surgery Help & Healing
The Exercise in a Chair Program CD by Philip Chave The Healing Garden Meditation CD by Philip Chave The Surgery Assistance CD by Philip Chave

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All of These Local Areas Are Within a Short Drive of The Haven Healing Centre, Cheddar, Somerset
Abbots Leigh, Ashwick, Avonmouth, Axbridge, Babington, Backwell, Badgworth, Bagley, Banwell, Barrow Gurney, Bason Bridge, Bath, Beckington, Berrow, Biddisham, Bishop Sutton, Bitton, Blackford, Blagdon, Bleadon, Bleadney, Bradford-on-Avon, Brean, Brent Knoll, Bristol, Burnham-on-Sea, Burrington, Butcombe, Cameley, Catcott, Chantry, Chapel Allerton, Cheddar, Chelwood, Chew Magna, Chew Stoke, Chilcompton, Churchill, Clapton, Claverham, Claverton, Cleeve, Clevedon, Clutton, Cocklake, Coleford, Compton Bishop, Compton Dando, Compton Martin, Congresbury, Coxley, Cranmore, Cross, Downhead, Draycott, Dundry, Dunkerton, East Brent, East Harptree, East Huntspill, Easton-in-Gordano, Edithmead, Emborough, Englishcombe, Evercreech, Failand, Farmborough, Farrington Gurney, Felton, Flax Bourton, Freshford, Frome, Glastonbury, Godney, Green Ore, Gurney Slade, Highbridge, Highbury, High Littleton, Hinton Blewett, Hutton, Inglesbatch, Kelston, Kenn, Kewstoke, Keynsham, Kilmersdon, Kingston Seymour, Langford, Litton, Locking, Long Ashton, Lower Weare, Loxton, Lympsham, Mark, Marksbury, Mells, Midsomer Norton, Monkton Combe, Nailsea, Nempnett Thrubwell, Nettlebridge, Newbury, Oldmixon, Paulton, Peasedown, Pensford, Pilton, Portishead, Prestleigh, Priddy, Priston, Pucklechurch, Pudlow, Puxton, Queen Charlton, Radstock, Redhill, Rickford, Ridgehill, Rodney Stoke, Rooks Bridge, Rowberrow, Saltford, Sandford, Shapwick, Shepton Mallet, Shipham, Sidcot, Somerton, Stanton Drew, Star, Staverton, St Georges, Stoke St Michael, Ston Easton, Stone Bridge, Stowey, Street, Temple Cloud, Tickenham, Timsbury, Trowbridge, Ubley, Weare, Wedmore, Wellow, Wells, West Harptree, West Horrington, Weston-Super-Mare, West Pennard, Whatley, Whitchurch, Winford, Winscombe, Wookey, Wraxall, Wrington, Yatton
For all enquiries please call Phil on: 01934 740275 Also you can: Email this page to a friend.

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Copyright  ©  Philip Chave 2003-www.distanthealer.co.uk -- www.thehavenhealingcentre.co.uk  All rights reserved.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

The Haven Healing Centre is located at: The Orchard, Draycott Rd, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3RU