The USF College of Nursing leads research on a novel technique to alleviate veterans’ symptoms of combat-related and military sexual trauma.
By Saundra Amrhein
On a recent spring morning, Artricia James-Heard walked into the office of a therapist trained in an innovative technique being studied by researchers at the University of South Florida.
Upon entering, James-Heard, a Navy veteran who had been sexually abused in the military, was a woman prone to nightmares. To sleepwalking onto the front porch where her own screams would wake her. To hallucinations, a short temper and a general malaise that often left her yelling and angry at her husband and children.
But that day when she walked out of the office, a fog had lifted. She could breathe easily for the first time in years. She saw clearly – as if her brain had been cleansed like the windshield of a car going through a carwash and scrubbing – both inside and out. In the days and months to come, she slept soundly, regained lost energy – and became the loving mother and wife she always longed to be.