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My research is into the positive effect of group outdoor activities on reducing the symptomatology of PTSD in military veterans. Utilising my awareness of PTSD, my expertise as a therapist and my links to the military veteran’s community within Essex I have for the last six years, at the University of Essex, been researching into alternative modalities to the NICE guideline recommended treatments for PTSD. These studies are to ascertain if I might be able to formulate a programme that will work alongside the standard protocols adopted by mental health professionals and aid recovery.
My first pilot study was to involve the potential benefits of an overnight angling trip. Due to the very encouraging results from this first study we have subsequently ran two further pilot studies, one involving exposure to horses at the Colchester Garrison Saddle Club and another around falconry and archery at Lavenham falconry. In light of all three of these studies presenting us with encouraging data I then subsequently designed a random controlled trial (RCT) into the most effective of the interventions angling. The results of this RCT were equally impressive and Peer Outdoor Exposure Therapy (POET) was formulated. The data is currently in the process of being peer reviewed for publication.
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I have worked closely with Mark for several years, supervising him through to and beyond his accreditation as an EMDR Therapist. Mark is a highly committed and skilled therapist with a special interest in the treatment of traumatic stress-related difficulties, especially in the ex-military population.Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes