The Herald Bulletin

August 3, 2013

PTSD program launches at American Legion

By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin

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ANDERSON – Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder in Anderson have a new resource.

Licensed clinical psychologist David Tarr this week launched the first, free eight-week session for veterans suffering from PTSD, hosted by the American Legion Post 127, 4118 Columbus Ave. Tarr worked with the Veterans Administration for more than 30 years and recently retired as coordinator of the PTSD clinical team at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center in Indianapolis.

Dr. Tarr said the new group has a practical focus, rather than serving as discussion session. He noted that the method is research-based, and he has seen positive results from it with previous clients.

“My program is a very practical one that has to do with alleviation of PTSD symptoms,” said Tarr. “My approach has always been to address very concrete things: insomnia, nightmares, irritability, anger management … I’m going to give the group a toolbox to take with them.”

In the first four weeks of the group, participants will be taught how to restructure their dreams through imagery rehearsal therapy. In the second four weeks, they will explore anger including “how to recognize where a person is about to lose his temper and to use healthy self-containment, de-escalation, and transformation to assertiveness.”

Emphasizing the practical nature of the classes, Tarr noted, “I give homework.”

Post service officer Larry Peeples noted it will be an ongoing program. Of PTSD, Peeples said, "We weren't meant to take lives, and it bothers us. These are things that have to be addressed."

"The typical veteran is not someone who seeks out mental health treatment," acknowledged Tarr, but he's looking forward to providing some tools to equip veterans with PTSD to cope. Tarr noted that individuals can also explore the memories at the heart of their symptoms with him in his private practice.

Get involved with Tarr’s free classes at the American Legion, at 4118 Columbus Ave. Classes are currently scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesdays. Tarr can be contacted for individual therapy in his private practice in Anderson by calling 649-2234.

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