North Island Survivors’ Healing Society clients test out a new trauma-mitigation machine donated by the Rotary Club.

Rotary funds new technology to treat trauma

Campbell River Daybreak Rotary recently donated a light bar to the North Island Survivors’ Healing Society (NISHS)

Campbell River Daybreak Rotary recently donated a light bar to the North Island Survivors’ Healing Society (NISHS) to help in the treatment of both men’s and women’s trauma.

The $600 piece of equipment has so far been used by two of the Centre’s three counsellors during client sessions.

“The light bar is used in a form of treatment called EMDR and offers another option for our clients as they heal from trauma,” said Celia Laval, NISHS counsellor.

The goal of EMDR, also known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is to process intrusive and distressing memories, thereby decreasing or eliminating their disturbing effects. It also allows clients to develop healthy coping mechanisms in conjunction with their therapist. It was developed in the late 1980s by Francine Shapiro and originally researched primarily on Vietnam War veterans.

Don Huestis and Mike Rushton, co-chairs of the Rotary Community Services Committee said, “We are always pleased to support our community and the people in it, both men and women, as they heal from trauma and move their lives forward.”

Millions of people around the world have been treated with EMDR to treat psychological stress and other anxiety-related conditions, such as panic attacks, phobias, performance anxiety and grief.

Using both left and right eye movements, the traumatic memory is neutralized, thereby lessening the impact of the memory over a series of appointments.

North Island Survivors Healing Society – Trauma and Abuse Counselling Centre – is a registered non-profit. It has operated in Campbell River since 1993. Registered clinical counsellors work with a range of scenarios including motor vehicle accidents, recreational accidents, war zone trauma, medical trauma, physical and sexual assault and abuse and neglect. Depending on the nature of the case, professional counselling is either government funded or partially subsidized.