(By Robert Schwarz, PsyD, DCEP)
On Monday afternoon, July 28th, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), chairs of their chambers’ respective veterans’ committees, announced a $17 billion compromise bill to fix widespread problems at the VA.
The bill would allow veterans to seek private medical care outside the VA system if they live far from a VA facility or if they cannot get an appointment within 30 days.
It is fantastic that Congress can agree on anything and can find a way to compromise. The bill may have problems, but it should make it far easier for veterans with PTSD to receive energy psychology based treatment from clinicians outside the VA system.
While many line clinicians use or want to use EP approaches in the VA, they face constraints. Not so for clinicians in the private sector. Since energy psychology approaches are more effective, as more veterans experience relief from EP they will tell their comrades who will be able to avail themselves of EP services if they cannot get treatment within 30 days.
Of course this bill does not appear to do anything to change the VA’s culture so that it is more open to energy psychology approaches. Perhaps the new head of the VA, Bob McDonald, will be able to create enough of a culture of change that EP approaches will finally be given a green light. McDonald has been recognized for leadership by Chief Executive Magazine and in the Hay Group’s “Best Companies for Leadership” study.
Robert Schwarz, PsyD, DCEP