Modern Psychological offers nontraditional treatment for PTSD, addiction, autism

    by Maryanna S. Phinn

    If you are seeking effective alternative approaches to traditional mental health treatment related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction, autism spectrum disorder or other mental health problems, consider options available at Modern Psychological in Langhorne. 

    “We are a different type of practice using techniques and approaches that are really groundbreaking,” explains clinical psychologist and sole practitioner, Dr. Harold D. Stecker, Ph.D.

    Two methods include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, a highly skilled technique used by certified health practitioners to relieve debilitating psychological stress such as PTSD and trauma.

    Dr. Stecker also treats patients using a device called Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES), which is available by prescription and used in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy approaches.

    CES is a noninvasive and non-addictive mild electrotherapy that helps patients with insomnia, anxiety and depression.

    EMDR is identified by the American Psychiatric Association and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs for PTSD and trauma.

    It has been effective for treating depression and anxiety and addictions related to alcoholism, heroin or prescription and opioid drugs.

    “EMDR is a popular treatment with the military and armed forces especially combat veterans or others that have experienced trauma such as rape,” says Dr. Stecker. He stresses that the therapy is not for everyone immediately and takes time. “Some people need weeks or months to get ready for it,” he says. While undergoing EMDR treatment, a patient recalls traumatic experiences while Dr. Stecker directs the patient’s eye movements. EMDR works on the premise that when someone’s attention is diverted while remembering or talking about traumatic or distressful events it can alleviate the strong psychological response and lessen the impact that disturbing memories may have on the patient.

    The treatment works in multiple phases and some people need more treatment sessions than others. “The advantage of this therapy is that many patients find relief faster than traditional approaches, sometimes in just six sessions. Patients also identify solutions for their problems. It’s a caring therapy with many advantages.”

    CES is a device the size of a cell phone that generates a battery-operated low dose, mild current when attached to the patient’s earlobes. CES is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for insomnia, anxiety and depression.  “I’ve integrated this device with other methods for patients I’m treating for trauma or addiction because they often experience problems with insomnia and anxiety stemming from the trauma or addiction,” says Dr. Stecker.

    CES has been a successful treatment method for more than 60 years, originally used in Eastern Europe. Dr. Stecker used the device to alleviate his own cigarette smoking addiction more than 30 years ago. “It works by stimulating a part of the brain where stress is carried, releasing endorphins and serotonins. People use it for almost immediate relief for problems such as stage fright. Others need to use it for a longer, regularly scheduled time, such as people with autism. My goal is to educate the public and inform people that therapy such as EMDR and devices such as CES are quite beneficial and effective it given a chance,” Dr. Stecker says.

    Modern Psychological offers psychotherapeutic counseling and services to patients age 14 and older. The office is located at 333 North Oxford Valley Road, Suite 105 in Langhorne. It is open from 10:00am to 8:00pm for appointments on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 215-486-7261 or e-mail

    PHOTO CAP: Dr. Harold D. Stecker, Ph.D.