Research for SVF

Volunteer Veterans are needed for several on-going research studies.  Veterans who are interested and meet the eligibility requirements are requested to contact the researcher directly.  A description of the research, the names and contact information are shown below.  There is no charge to veteran participants. In addition to the benefits achieved in the research study, participating veterans will have the opportunity to contribute to the knowledge base of therapeutic treatment modalities.

Neurofeedback Study

The purpose of this research is to conduct a pilot study and investigate the potential impact of neurofeedback and virtual reality (future) as an intervention/treatment for male veterans convicted of domestic violence related to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their ability to self-regulate emotional responses to stress, anger and aggression as an outcome of these treatment modalities.   Measurement is the qEEG (quantitative EEG) brain map and Heart-rate Variability (HRV), and questionnaires for anger and aggression.


Linda Larson-Spagon, Doctoral Candidate, Idaho State University

Cell:  208-255-9227


PTSD Intervention Study

With assistance from the SVF and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Club, Dr. Doug Ratelle and Dr. Myron Thurber were able to complete a series of successful studies. This past spring, a small pilot study was accomplished testing the effectiveness of a new theory and method for PTSD treatment.  There was a strong reduction of PTSD symptoms and a strong improvement in EEG (brainwave) health.

Through the summer, the research expanded into a larger study involving twenty veterans. In this study, a one-session comparison between a commonly used PTSD treatment method (EMDR) and Dr. Ratelle’s new method was done. The new method led to a 65% reduction of PTSD symptoms, and strong reduction of brainwaves associated with anxiety and a strong increase of brainwaves associated with a brain in healing.

EMDR did not produce a significant effect with symptoms, but some effect with brainwaves. Those who received EMDR were provided the new method if they wanted to receive it.

Future research is currently being planned based on this year’s findings. The research team has expanded to include faculty and staff at WSU’s Spokane campus. The process is long, though this year’s efforts have created a very strong foundation to build on. The research team will be needing volunteers early in 2017 for the next step of research.


Doug Ratelle, Ph.D.

Cell:  206-661-8743


Mentor Training Enhancement Study

This study is limited to the Mentors of the Spokane Veterans Forum (SVF) and is conducted in two sessions by Steve James, Ph.D. of Washington State University, Health Sciences Department.


To define enhanced skills and techniques In support of Mentor training.  Two facilitated sessions identify additional/enhanced skills and techniques which will be most helpful to Mentors as they fulfill their essential function to support SVF Veteran Defendants who are working to recover from the personal impacts of PTSD, TBI and/or MST.

  • Information provided by Mentors during the Focus Group Meetings and by responses to the follow-up written survey will form a valid basis for a more effective Mentor Training Plan.
  • Future Mentor training topics will be prioritized based on requirements expressed by Mentors.
  • Results of training topics and outcomes of surveys will provide a foundation to support the effectiveness of the Mentors and Mentor training as well as be exported to other Veterans Court Mentor Programs throughout the country.

Two Focus Group Session Topics include:

Session 1:  Issues that have been raised by Veteran Defendants as reported to the Mentors including:  Family, money, problems with basic living, triggers or special needs.

Session 2:  Challenging situations Mentors encounter including:  Dealing with emotional impact, time commitment, personal boundaries, slip-ups and effective communication.


Steve James, Ph.D. is a highly effective speaker and facilitator who is a valued presenter for the monthly Forums.  He has volunteered to facilitate the Mentor Focus Group sessions, design the surveys and to assist the Forum to develop the enhanced mentor training plan.  Dr. James is affiliated with Washington State University, Health Sciences Department.  He has a 20 year history as a combat veteran with the British Army.  He is highly motivated to support the SVF to accomplish its Mission:  “No Veteran Left Behind.”

Veterans Crisis Line Phone: 1-800-273-8255, Press “1for immediate help