The Research and Recognition Project (R&RP) conducts rigorous, controlled clinical studies to validate therapeutic techniques that support the widespread use of innovative and cost-effective clinical care for traumatic stress and a number of other psychiatric disorders.
The Research and Recognition Project was founded in 2006, after a clinician and former lecturer at Cornell University, Dr. Frank Bourke, discovered the clinical efficacy of a protocol to treat post-traumatic stress. Like many of the 9/11 professional volunteers, Dr. Bourke stayed on for ten months and treated over 250 PTS World Trade Center survivors. By the end of the year, he was convinced that he had found an important and needed clinical development. With it, clinicians would be able to help soldiers, first-responders, rape victims – all clients whose lives had been shattered by traumatic events – and remit their symptoms in under 5 hours. No drugs, no psychically painful administration, no long-term complicated therapy.
He decided to bring what he considered to be “the largest advance in the treatment of PTSD in 75 years” into the hands of therapists worldwide. Trained to do psychology research on a Fulbright grant at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, he recognized from the onset, that the PTS treatment protocol would have to be FORMALLY researched and approved as evidentiary medicine to be used in future disaster situations.
Unfortunately, his goals were interrupted with a two year-long bout of cancer, a problem that affected many survivors of, and residents near, the collapse of the Twin Towers. Once he was well enough, he launched the non-profit Research and Recognition Project and began “the rest of the story”.
From the veteran’s community, he found a passionate commitment from a dedicated group of mainly Vietnam era veterans. They are from many walks of life and include retired generals, admirals, businessmen, agency administrators, and university researchers. All of whom, for different personal reasons, recognized the growing national need. They quickly mobilized to get the RTM Protocol to the 500,000 recent veterans who are struggling with PTSD before their symptoms disabled them completely, and destroyed their families and livelihoods.
In the last two years, sufficient research has been done to prove the initial clinical results. The first four studies have been completed and over 90% of the male and female veterans treated (160) are no longer diagnosed as having PTS, and their nightmares, flashbacks and directly related emotional problems have been remitted. This is contrasted against the therapies in use by the VA as “evidentiary medicine”, where the research shows 2/3 of the veterans treated still diagnosed with PTS after treatment, 2/3 still suffer PTS’s debilitating behavioral symptoms and approximately 25% of those, who begin treatment, drop out before they can be measured. After presenting the research results at Walter Reed NICoE PTS Grand Rounds in 2016, staff training in RTM and further research collaboration with researchers there was begun immediately. Additional research collaboration is underway at the University of New Mexico neurology facility, Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Bradley University in Illinois.
The completion of the initial pilot and replication research has not been easy. By necessity, it was done on a shoestring budget. While over $1B has been spent by the Federal Government on PTS research over the last ten years, with no appreciable clinical results, the Research and Recognition Project has, in the last two years, with $1.4M given by New York State and the Blue Angels Foundation and $3.5M donated by Project staff and supporters in time and money, completed the four research studies outlined above. AND, WE CONTINUED TO TURN AROUND THE LIVES OF PTSD SUFFERERS. Here are some testimonials from veterans who have completed the process:
Client 3032 (9/21/15): “I used to sit in the dark all day and go over and over the trauma. After treatment with the RTM Protocol, my wife says I am a lot happier. Another friend I have known for six years and see every Sunday says I look and sound so much happier. I feel more alive. No more daymares and nightmares…and the nightmares I have had for the past 40 years have stopped.”
Client 3024 (8/25/15): “After three treatments I feel different. I have stopped carrying around the duffel bag of misery. I no longer have a recurring nightmare I have been having for the past 30 years. I feel more positive and feel like my future is in my hands in whichever direction I take. I’ve noticed if I put out good vibes and self-confidence, it is reciprocated. I’m not going to sit still and feel depressed anymore. I just got a new job and I attribute this to the work I did with the RTM Protocol.”
Client 3011 (8/25/15): “I notice a difference in myself. I was sitting around depressed and apathetic and angry about events in Iraq. Instead of having terrible flashbacks, I now think of the event as just a memory. I feel more enjoyment of life and am starting my own business. I have started a golf program…something I would have never done prior to the treatment.”
OUR EFFORTS CONTINUE
The next step is to begin training counselors in the RTM Protocol, expanding into a national program aimed at 10 to 20 thousand counselors, as quickly as possible and in a fashion that ensures the counselors/therapists trained can get the same clinical results - ninety percent remission of PTS diagnosis and clinical symptoms.