Monica from Norway wrote to me with a question about what can be done to help someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Her husband is from Afghanistan and saw his whole family killed by the Taliban. He is the only survivor and has the full range of symptoms of PTSD, including distressing memories and dreams, insomnia, fear and hopelessness, depression, anxiety and more.

In many years of treating this disabling disorder I found two approaches I can recommend wholeheartedly to resolve painful memories and their effects. I continue to be surprised at just how thoroughly and quickly both techniques work and how people’s lives take a dramatic change for the better.

One technique is known as EMDR. It is administered by a trained mental health professional and often requires only a few sessions for complete resolution of the problem. In EMDR the client is relatively passive while focusing on aspects of the trauma and an external stimulus such as eye movements, sounds or finger tapping. The procedure dissolves the negative memories and their effects. (1)

Another approach is “The Work of Byron Katie.(2)” When given a choice of the two methods, this is the one most of my clients have picked. While it requires more active involvement on their part, it also gives them a highly valuable skill they can use for the rest of their lives to free themselves of pain and to enjoy inner peace.

All distress from past events is caused by patterns of thoughts. (Thought can come as images as well). These memories trigger the emotional disturbance again and again. Thoughts are therefore the cause of the problem and if we can get free of the thoughts, we can get free of the past. In other words, as the way we think of the past dissolves, the fears of the past and the future also dissolve.

“The Work” consists of four simple questions and ‘turn-arounds’ you can use to examine a particular stressful thought. The effect is that the thought dissolves as it is seen in a different light, which immediately relieves you of the stress it had caused. Here is the story of V. in her own words:

"I was kidnapped, beaten unconscious, and raped. It is about 2 months ago now. I experienced great rage, despair, hopelessness and, grief."

After suffering greatly for three weeks, a counselor introduced her to The Work. She continues:

"I left his office, bought 'Loving What Is' (3), read it in one day, and immediately applied The Work to the rape. And bingo—immediate and (so far) permanent relief!!! I slept that night for the first time in three weeks, as I was not replaying the mental tape. And when I did, I just laughed!! How powerful is that!! I remain free today from any so-called negative feelings about the whole drama."

V’s story is by no means an exception. In my experience it is quite common to experience such immediate relief. Our stressful beliefs have power over us only as long as we believe them.

One such thought may be that what happened to you was real and can’t ever be changed. That may be true, but what this thought misses is that it is over. Now only the mind is compulsively replaying the old tape and in this way you give yourself the dreadful feelings again and again. The mind doesn’t know how to stop on its own. With The Work you can stop it, and this can be as instant as stopping a tape recorder.

Because these superb methods are now available, there is no longer a need to suffer from old pain. The only hindrance for many is that they are not aware that it can be done or incredulous that it could be so easy and quick. Thank you, Monica for your question. I hope it will bring freedom to your husband, and many others who are needlessly suffering.

(1) You can read more about EMDR at
(2) I am a certified facilitator in The Work of Byron Katie. It is easy-to-learn and can be facilitated over the phone. You can reach me at My website is
(3) Byron Katie’s bestselling book about The Work. You can also get much free material and support from

Author's Bio: 

Ram Giri Braun, Ph.D. is the creator of “Skills for Awakening,” a system of four highly effective methods anyone can learn to become free of stress, pain and suffering and to realize their innate state of freedom and true happiness.
Ram Giri has studied and practiced for over 4 decades in the US, Europe and India. He offers his services world wide by telephone. Please find out more at