Posttraumatic stress disorder: A treatable public health problem


Clinical social workers need to be aware of the growing problem of untreated and under treated trauma in society. This is an especially important issue affecting our veteran population. However, most veterans do not ask for help with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms out of shame or fear that it will negatively affect their career advancement. There is a highly effective psychotherapeutic treatment called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) that works very quickly to end PTSD in clients. Veterans typically dislike talking to non veterans about their combat experience. One of the benefits of using EMDR (for patients and therapists) is that they do not have to talk about the details of their trauma for the EMDR process to work. During EMDR, the patient's brain heals itself and the therapist just needs to adhere to the EMDR protocol. In light of its effectiveness, it makes sense that all social workers should familiarize themselves with EMDR. The most clinical social workers should be trained in EMDR, as most of our clients have trauma histories. If the estimates of PTSD in veterans are accurate, we could save them and their families from years of suffering.






Robert P. Salvatore,

Original Work Citation

Salvatore, R. P. (2009, May). Posttraumatic stress disorder: A treatable public health problem. Health and Social Work, 34(2), 153-155. doi:10.1093/hsw/34.2.153



“Posttraumatic stress disorder: A treatable public health problem,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 21, 2020,

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