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American Sniper Widow Advocates For Alternative PTSD Therapy

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, one in five veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

But a newer form of psychotherapy is picking up traction in the veteran community.

, or ART, uses relaxing eye movements and a technique called Voluntary Memory/Image Replacement  to change the way negative images are stored in the brain.

Taya Kyle, the widow of United States Navy SEAL Chris Kyle known as the “American Sniper,” said you don't have to tell the therapist what happened like you do in talk therapy.

"You visualize the scene that happened as your eyes are tracking and following the movement and you start connecting the emotional and logical side of your brain,” Kyle said.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of the Royal Army Corps reports ART could also help civilians and veterans alike with depression, anxiety disorders, and alcohol or drug misuse.

The authors write that “ART can potentially help personnel traumatized by the unique challenges of war and conflict zones by providing brief psychotherapy in a readily accessible and culturally competent manner” and that “conservative estimates indicate substantial potential cost savings in PTSD treatment.”

Kyle is the keynote speaker at ART International Brave B.A.S.H. - Building Advocates for Successful Healing - gala on Friday, Oct. 19 at The Gathering at Armature Work in Tampa.

For tickets and sponsorship information, visit or call (813) 435-1374.

Copyright 2018 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Daylina Miller is a multimedia reporter for WUSF and Health News Florida, covering health in the Tampa Bay area and across the state.
Daylina Miller
Daylina Miller, multimedia reporter for Health News Florida, was hired to help further expand health coverage statewide.