PTSD and Grief: An Ask Dr. Neimeyer Guest Column

Dear Dr. Neimeyer,

I was heartbroken and overwhelmed reading the question to you from the woman with PTSD who was in the horrifying and PTSD AfterTalk Grief Supporttraumatic accident that killed her two little girls and injured her husband and daughter.  I want to let you know of a treatment for PTSD performed by Dr. Lipov in Chicago called the Stellate Ganglion Block, so perhaps you could maybe pass it on to her.  I’m working with the folks who raise money to provide this service for veterans, abuse victims, and accident victims like this mom, who are not able to cover travel costs or the treatment procedure.

Dr. Eugene Lipov, a Chicago based anesthesiologist, has refined the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) Procedure to eliminate PTSD symptoms in a single outpatient visit. Once the roadblocks imposed by PTSD are removed, then various psychological therapies can be effectively employed.

Dr. Lipov believes that the root cause of PTSD is a malfunctioning sympathetic nervous system, sometimes called “fight or flight”. The most obvious manifestation of this malfunction is the presence of excess sympathetic nerve growth in and around the amygdala (the “control room” of the sympathetic nervous system ).

His refinement of SGB works by injecting an anesthetic drug mixture of his own design into one or two ganglia ( nerve bundles ) located near the C6 and C3 vertebrae on the right side of the neck. This results in a temporary “shut down” of the sympathetic nervous system. During the 8 to 12 hour “shut down” period, the aforementioned excessive nerve growth in the brain is “trimmed”, which restores the sympathetic nervous system to its pre-trauma state.

Relief from PTSD symptoms typically lasts for many months to many years. Some patients require subsequent SGBs if PTSD symptoms recur. Other patients require just one treatment.

To date, approximately 5,000 SGB / PTSD treatments have been performed worldwide. Dr. Lipov has done about 700 of them, most of the rest have been performed on combat veterans in military hospitals.

A peer reviewed, multi-location, single blind study was completed in June 2018. Publication of this study in a prestigious medical journal is expected within 90 days.

More information is available at, the website for the charity with the dual mission of promoting awareness of this breakthrough procedure, and raising funds to pay for procedures for those who are unable to afford them.


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Mary Robinson, MA, CT

Executive Director and Founder, Imagine

p.s. Imagine is a free, year-round grief support center for children and families coping with loss due to death.

Mary Robinson, MA, CT, is the Executive Director of Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss located in Mountainside, NJ. Leaving the corporate world in 1997 to volunteer and work full-time in the field of children’s grief support, Ms. Robinson is committed to creating communities where children coping with loss get the support they need to thrive, be resilient and grow up emotionally healthy.   Working and volunteering in the field of children’s grief support grew out of Mary’s own personal experience of loss as a child.  Her commitment is to ensure that no child grieves alone and that children in grief grow up emotional healthy, resilient and able to lead meaningful and productive lives.

PTSD AfterTalk Grief Support





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2 thoughts on “PTSD and Grief: An Ask Dr. Neimeyer Guest Column”

  1. Hi,, Bob,

    Want to let you know GriefNet is reviving after a horrible hardware disaster requiring new software and set up with our ISP. As you know we have support groups for every kind of loss due to death. They are overseen by trained monitors under my supervision. All of our members are kept anonymous by our system which strips off the name and email address from each message – first name basis only. We run on email so are here 24/7. We request a small fee ($10/month) and reduce or waive the fee for the financially impaired.

    We believe bereaved people are greatly helped by talking with other bereaved people. And with people still seeking us daily after 25 years, we must be doing something right. We’re at http://www.griefnet,org where you can find out about our groups, join one, and read about my professional work.

    With caring,
    Cendra Lynn, Ph.D.
    Founder & Director

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