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Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009
New treatment helps combat stress
Philippa Taylor, BBC
By Philippa Taylor
BBC Suffolk, West Suffolk producer

Troops in training
Troops handle their experiences of conflict in different ways

A former soldier living in Suffolk has received fresh hope of overcoming 20 years of suffering from combat stress.

Sudbury resident Phil (not his real name) served in Northern Ireland, but he now lives in the Sudbury area.

In 2008 he told BBC Suffolk he felt there wasn't enough being done for people living with the condition.

Now he says his life has been turned around thanks to a treatment programme from the charity Talking2Minds which he discovered on the internet.

The majority of the officers that served alongside Phil during the conflict in Northern Ireland sadly lost their lives in service.

He'd been left angry that those who paid the ultimate price for their country had been left without adequate support, and he struggled to believe he may have finally found a possible resolution.

A depressed man
Combat stress causes depression and flashbacks

"One of my support workers found the information about Talking2Minds on their website and my first reaction was 'no way', said Phil.

"I've been after this for twenty years and there's no way it's suddenly going to pop up."

He contacted the charity and they sent one of their people down to have a look at him.

"They then said 'right, you're coming over to France and we're going to hoover your head with a giant Dyson' basically."


Talking2Minds was founded by Rob Paxman who himself suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving in the SAS.

He struggled to find the right kind of treatment for him.

"I went through the NHS and the classic charities that are there," explained Rob.

"Some of the charities are good at providing respite, but I wanted something to get rid of my nightmares and flashbacks.

"I was told I'd be suffering from PTSD for the rest of my life but I wouldn't accept it."

He decided to explore elsewhere and discovered the Quantum Performance Synergy process which Talking2Minds has adopted and developed.

This scheme helps the client understand how they think, feel and respond accordingly and helps to explain how to deal with their thoughts.

Talking2minds logo
Talking2minds is a UK Registered Charity

"We treat each individual in a bespoke manner as each individual is uniquely different," explained Rob.

"We've got a system that flexes round the individual, so we won't move on until we've flexed enough to get a result to help the client move on."

Sceptical in the beginning

Because Talking2Minds claims their system is unique, many people who use it, Phil included, are initially sceptical about their chances of success, but after just twenty four hours he knew he was making progress.

"I could see a light at the end of the tunnel," explained Phil.

"It's made the world of difference, I'm getting better, I'm on the way, I've got my life back."

Phil feels optimistic for the future and feels he would like to dedicate his time to helping other people in similar situations.

"In a year I'd like to be working as a master practitioner with these guys, helping out people and doing my best, giving a lot back where other people have let them down."

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