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Preliminary findings measuring Bridging the Gap retreats show lasting impact on participants.

Data from surveys of 152 participants at the start and end of 10 retreats indicate significant reduction in post-traumatic stress symptoms for veterans and their partners during the retreat. Romantic couples showed significant improvement in relationship satisfaction, said Briana Goff Nelson, from the Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families at Kansas State University.

In a paper co-authored by social worker Victoria Bruner last month, a study of similar seven-day retreats found that reductions of symptoms continued in the six months that followed the retreat. Although the magnitude of the impact diminished over time, veterans did not return to their initial levels of trauma, while the distress levels of partners continued to drop, according to the March article in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy. Twitter: @diannacahn

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