Treating military sexual trauma with EMDR therapy

BY E. C. Hurley, PhD


L. Kantz, Editor (2015)

You may contact E. C. Hurley, PhD at:


for those who treat our military personnel and veterans

E. C. Hurley, PhD - Approved EMDR Trainer


                               A Veteran EMDR Trainer

             for those who serve the military and veteran  populations                                                         



E. C. Hurley, PhD, was selected and trained as an EMDR trainer by Francine  Shapiro, PhD, the psychologist who developed Eye Movement  Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.  He was trained in EMDR therapy following 9/11 and immediately began to witness its treatment effectiveness in treating military personnel as he treated members of the 101st Airborne Division and special operations units at Ft Campbell, KY.  As his military clients deployed and redeployed during multiple combat missions he utilized EMDR therapy in treating their complex trauma which progressively displayed  dissociative exhibtions including flashbacks, nightmares, depersonalization, and derealization.  Dr. Hurley demonstrates in his trainings what he has utilized in treatment over the past fourteen years providing  treatment to military personnel and veterans suffering with combat trauma, military sexual trauma and moral injury issues.  He incorporates videos of EMDR therapy into these trainings allowing participants view demonstrations of his work.   Participants learn how to effectively utilize EMDR therapy in assisting veterans and military personnel to reclaim their lieves.  Dr. Hurley's trainings cover the basic EMDR theapy approach as well as how to work with complex PTSD symptoms and moral injury cases.  


Dr. Hurley's has been a licensed psychotherapist for over 30 years with military duty throughout the U.S., Europe and Southwest Asia.  His background includes graduate degrees in counseling psychology and clinical psychology with a PhD in clinical psychology from an APA approved clinical psychology program.  Additionally, he holds a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral counseling.  He has treated moral injury issues for 30 years of his military service and specialized in the treatment of trauma since 9/11.  Dr. Hurley is a Diplomate with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and specializes in treating military personnel and veterans suffering with complex PTSD and moral injury.  At Soldier Center he developed the EMDR intensive program allowing for the treatment of veterans once or twice a day over a ten-day period.  Clients travel from throughout the U.S. and other countries for this treatment. 

He recently was awarded the FRANCINE SHAPIRO award by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA), the highest award the professional organization awards.  The award was granted by the international professional association for "outstanding contribution and service to EMDR."  Additionally, Dr. Hurley is a member of the EMDR Council of Scholars, an international group of 35 EMDR thinkers-leaders whose work focuses on the future of EMDR therapy.

33 years of military service - from Private to Colonel - Believes soldiers/veterans deserve the best service possible and trains those who believe likewise.

Service and Awards

In 2010 Dr. Hurley was awarded the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program (EMDR HAP) as the EMDR HAP Volunteer of the Year.  Following Hurricane Katrina he coordinated an EMDR HAP project in which 50 EMDR therapists volunteered their time to provide treatment to first responders in Louisianna.  Additionally, he volunteered his services in treating National Guard and first responders in Moore, OK providing disaster response EMDR therapy following torranados which devastated that area.  He has trained military mental health providers at military installations in the United States and Eurpoe for the past ten years.  For four years he served as the EMDR Institute’s trainer to the U.S. Army Medical Command (AMEDD) where he trained military mental health professionals in EMDR therapy world-wide.  With the Army’s transition to incorporating in-house trainers Dr. Hurley trained the medical command’s in-house EMDRy trainers.

Having served 33 years in the Army and Army Reserve, Dr. Hurley retired from the Army with the rank of Colonel. His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (awarded twice), the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit and the Army Air Assault medal.

Soldier Center

Dr. Hurley is the Founder and Executive Director of Soldier Center, near Ft Campbell, KY.  The center’s staff of therapists provide treatment to active duty military personnel, veterans and family members.  Soldier Center includes an EMDR therapy intensive  treatment program which provides EMDR therapy once or twice a day for a 10-day period with signficant outcome results. Veterans, active duty military and civilians travel from across the U.S. as well as internationally for these services.   With an ever-expanding staff,  all Soldier Center therapists are trained in EMDR therapy and utilize the treatment daily.

Training Focus

Dr. Hurley’s EMDR basic trainings are designed to train participants in the basic use of EMDR therapy AND return to their clinical settings with the ability to effectively utilize EMDR therapy in the treatment of a broad range of symptoms from adverse life experiences to complex PTSD and moral injury issues.  Ten hours of follow-up phone consultation are provided as a means of helping participants to integrate this newly learned treatment model into their clinical practice.

He is the author of “Treating military sexual trauma withEMDR therapy” in Treating military sexual assault by Katz (2015).