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Doctors Bring Mental Health Therapy to County Clinic

A team of psychologists is testing to see how trauma therapy affects the overall health and quality of life for families in Taney and Stone Counties.
BRANSON, Mo. -- Psychologists are using Stone and Taney Counties as a testing grounds for trauma therapy.

Since rural areas tend to be underserved in regards to mental health needs, Dr. Joseph Hulgus thought the Branson area would be a good place to view psychological care as a response to a public health need.

"Some of the rural counties don't always have an abundance of mental health resources," Hulgus said. "As we're approaching this project we're looking at it as a mental health issue."

Hulgus is working with doctors like Deborah Cox and Craig Coenen to treat trauma in a public health setting in hopes of improving quality of life.

 “It's akin to making sure you have a safe water supply,” Hulgus explained.

The technique they use is called eye movement dissensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR. With supplemental counseling it can help people learn to cope with grief and trauma.

“We expect that over the course of the year,” Cox explained. “Health concerns will diminish. People generally feel better, think more clearly.”

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