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What is ‘evidence-based’ therapy? Veterans protest shift away from group therapy for PTSD

Veterans Administration's West Los Angeles Medical Center
Veterans Administration's West Los Angeles Medical Center
Veterans Health/Flickr

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Nearly 20 long-running West LA PTSD group therapy programs have dissolved this fall, as the Los Angeles VA overhauled its property and shifted its medical care to a different building.

The VA said the move would consolidate mental health services, but veterans who relied on the support and community from these programs protested the change. They refused to move to new quarters, which they said didn’t have the privacy or the space needed for their meetings. The group therapy program is being replaced by a 12-week course of “evidence-based” talk therapy for veterans experiencing PTSD.

So what exactly is “evidence-based” therapy? Is a three month “evidence-based” therapy course more effective for veterans than a recurring support group and community? If you’re a veteran, what do you think of this shift?

Call us at 866-893-5722.

With guest host Libby Denkmann.


Leslie Martin, Licensed Clinical Social Worker; former Director of the PTSD Outpatient Services Team (POST) at West Los Angeles, VA

Michael Folonis, Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War; architect

David Riggs, professor of medical and clinical psychology and executive director of the Center for Deployment Psychology at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland