TCNJ Magazine - Spring 2019

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10 The College of New Jersey Magazine ALLAN HOBSON/SCIENCE SOURCE v iolence againSt women can happen in juSt a moment, but the impact can last a lifetime. Post-traumatic stress sets in, locking the imagery and horror of the act into memory — repeating it in a vivid loop every time an associated person, feeling, or event triggers the play button. Even after getting help, people "can feel stuck in that moment," says Associate Professor of Counseling Jill Schwarz. Unless it is the right help. Schwarz recently partnered with Womanspace, a nonprofit agency in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, that provides shelter and counseling for victims of sexual and domestic violence, to study a treatment approach that has previously provided significant and rapid relief to soldiers with PTSD. Womanspace asked Schwarz and her students to analyze whether the treatment could be equally effective for women who have survived battles of a very different sort. The tool — Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing — is an eight-phase therapeutic approach to disrupting the negative beliefs that take root in response to traumatic memories. EMDR uses bilateral stimulation of the brain through visual, auditory, P R A I R I E Emotional healing Pioneers in bringing a proven PTSD treatment to survivors of sexual and domestic violence, Jill Schwarz and her graduate students hope to spread it statewide. By Claire Conway

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