People traumatized by the Boston Marathon bombings may soon get help from Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) volunteers who have been working to support the Newtown, Conn., community following the deadly massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. In an exclusive interview with tapeunit.com on April 28, Lori Leyden, Ph.D., head of the Tapping Solution for Newtown: Stress and Trauma Relief Project, says she is reaching out to established trauma specialists in the Boston area to explain how EFT may help those who were traumatized by the April 15 bombings that killed three people and injured hundreds more.
“We’re letting them know the success we’re having with EFT in Newtown and offering our support,” Dr. Leyden says. “The difficulty with helping people traumatized by the Boston Marathon bombings is that those affected don’t live in one confined area. People have gone back to their communities, to their college campuses or home to other states.”
Dr. Leyden recently moved from California to Newtown to oversee the volunteer effort there. She and Nick Ortner, who launched the relief project, have been assessing the needs of the Newtown community, training a group of 35 EFT volunteers and using EFT — which is also called tapping — with individuals and groups to support their healing.
“We’ve worked with hundreds of people — first responders, parents who lost children in the shooting and parents whose children survived,” Dr. Leyden says. “We have a long list of people who experienced major improvement in just one or two sessions. They were able to clear intrusive memories, overwhelm and extreme emotional pain. We’re helping them take the edge off the trauma so they can deal with their grief.”
Dr. Leyden has worked extensively with trauma victims. She also heads Project Light: Rwanda, a program that has made tremendous strides helping genocide survivors in Rwanda.
Dr. Leyden and Ortner, who launched the relief project, are seeking funding to open a center in Newtown for EFT workshops and sessions. They also are developing a community-based trauma relief model that can be replicated across the country and around the world.
No one expected that within months another New England community would be rocked by a different devastating event.
“Like the people in Newtown, people affected by the bombings in Boston may not realize right away how much the events affected them,” Dr. Leyden says. “It make be a month or more before they start feeling the effects of extreme stress or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”
In a statement released by the project, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Eric Leskowitz, MD said that EFT/tapping is the treatment of choice for rapid intervention in traumatic situations. He added that using EFT can help prevent the development of full-blown PTSD.
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