NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A local nonprofit is using a new type of therapy to help veterans and law enforcement heal from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

A career in the marine corps left Michael Murray with some scars, both physical and mental.

“I was having a tough time with anger, sleeplessness, anxiety, outbursts, depression,” he said.

He knew he had PTSD, but traditional therapy didn’t help.

“It wasn’t doing anything for me to have to re-live those events over and over,” said Murray. “To me, it was keeping me in a state of trauma.”

In 2021, he started the nonprofit “Liberty OVE,” which stands for Liberty Organization for Veterans and Emergency Responders, as a way to give back.

He still wasn’t healed — and then, he met Dr. Janell Royster, who took him through her new type of therapy called “TRIP” or Trauma Recovery Intervention Protocol.

“So what we do is we go before the trauma ever happened,” said Royster. “What were you doing when you were safe before this event happened? What were you doing when you were safe after? And that’s the movie.”

The two started working together. Recently, they held a training in Hampton Roads with local veterans, spouses, and law enforcement members to teach them how to administer “TRIP.”

“We want to train others to do this and we’ve made it so simple stupid that you could read a script and it works. It doesn’t matter who’s reading the script,” said Dr. Royster.

David Viayra, a Navy veteran and physician assistant, was part of that training after he went through “TRIP” himself.

“In one session, literally the next day, I felt different,” Viayra said. “I would say that the treatment was so effective that the next day, I went out and grabbed a couple of my patients and I’m like, you have to meet this doctor.”

The participants learned from Dr. Royster, step by step, how to help their fellow veterans and law enforcement members.

“The nice thing about this ‘TRIP’ protocol is that its nice to see that there’s something out there that can make a difference. It’s definitely a piece of the puzzle,” Viayra said.

Through the multiple days of training, Dr. Royster explained how “TRIP” is different from traditional therapy and why it works.

“You go right into these visual imagery pieces,” said Dr. Royster. “It’s a little bit of meditation, it’s very directive, so it’s client-centered, but there’s not a whole lot of feedback I need from you to run this process…what this does is disconnects the negative emotion from the event.”

That uniqueness and effectiveness are what motivates Murray to use his nonprofit to spread the training to as many people as possible.

“We call it getting cleared for a reason,” said Murray. “We clear away the emotional attachments to the things I had experienced, which set my brain right.”

Liberty OVE is looking for people or businesses to partner with them and help sponsor more training for veterans and law enforcement in the area. The nonprofit also has a number of events coming up in the near future.

You can learn more about Liberty OVE and TRIP by clicking HERE.

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