A pioneering treatment for servicemen and women suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is to be tried in Scotland for the first time.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is expected to be offered by Scottish nurses later this year.
The therapy aims to turn negative images and sensations into positive ones, re-programming the brain.
The University of Stirling has teamed up with the University of South Florida to offer training to senior NHS nursing staff, as well as a workshop for its own staff and students.
In the US, it has been shown to” substantially reduce” symptoms associated with PTSD. It has also helped other common mental health problems.
Professor Kevin Kip, executive director of the research centre at University of South Florida, and Laney Rosenzweig, founder of the ART programme, are due to arrive in Stirling next week.
James Taylor, of the University of Stirling’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, said: “Working with our partners in South Florida, we’ve been successful in obtaining funding to pilot the use of ART by nurses in the UK to treat veterans with combat-related PTSD.
“We’re delighted to welcome Professor Kip and Ms Laney to Stirling to train senior NHS nursing staff and to talk about the therapy with our student and staff population.
“All going well, senior clinicians in Scotland should be using the ART therapy on veterans later this year. The initial findings from this pilot project will be reported in 2014.
“Hopefully it will provide new support and hope for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.”
He added: “The visit to train Scottish nurses (as part of our research project) is the first time ART training has been delivered and studied outside the US, the first time mental health nurses have been trained and the first research project using ART on a UK military veteran population.”
The training and visit are part of a formal partnership agreement with the University of South Florida, signed earlier this year.