ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Statistics show that more vets die from suicide than in combat, but a free state of the art program offered by Emory Healthcare is helping to change that.

“We can create almost any memory they describe from Iraq or Afghanistan and again it’s exposing them to their own memory of what they’re describing. And then the therapist is matching what they’re describing," said Barbara Rothbaum, the director of Emory Healthcare Intensive Outpatient Veterans Program.

She said the IOP has a 90% completion rate. Officials say the key to their success is helping the vet confront the situation that is haunting them.

“PTSD is maintained through avoiding the memories and avoiding reminders of the memories so the procedure that is used, that is shown to be effective with the research, helps patients confront the memories systematically in a safe context ” added Andrew Sherrill, one of the clinical psychologist working with the program.

He said repeatedly going over the bad memory allows the veterans to realize he/she is not under the same threat level; which in return helps the veteran lower their guard and interact in present.

“They learned that what happened in the past is in the past and that is not happening right now. That memories are safe and they don’t have to trigger the fight or flight response,” said Sherrill.

And the best part is that Emory’s veteran IOP is 100% free, despite where you live.

”We're able to fly in veterans from all around the country, feed them, and give them more therapy in two weeks than most people receive in an entire year. And it’s very effective. We’re seeing huge decreases in their PTSD, their depression, and their psycho-physiological responding” said Rothbaum.

To find out more about Emory healthcare’s veteran program you can visit www.emoryhealthcare.org.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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