Sunday Night March 20

This weekend Sunday Night looks at a new therapy to treat  PTSD in the military.

When a Man Becomes a Woman
To thousands of clients he’s a high profile and highly successful businessman. His friends and family know him as a loyal mate, a great father and a loving husband. He heads a flourishing Australian financial advisory firm and his expertise and services are sought by thousands across the country and around the world. So a great deal is at stake as this highflyer reveals that he is becoming a she. It’s been a secret he’s carried for most of his life. He’s wrestled with his gender issues, fought them, tried to suppress them and eventually accepted and celebrated them. Revealing his secret to friends and family was daunting and painful but ultimately liberating. The reception ranged from shock and surprise to ‘so what!’, but everyone who mattered has come to support the transition. But will his long list of clients old and new be so accepting? Will it deal a damaging blow to his extensive business interests? We’ve seen others reveal their “secret” and change their gender very publicly; Cher’s daughter, Chaz Bono, became a man. American Olympic legend Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn. Sunday Night’s Rahni Sadler has been granted remarkable access to this very sensitive journey all the way through to his brave and very public revelation, and brings us a powerful and controversial story for our times.

A Soldier and the Sea
Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and a long list of mental and behavioural issues are generally targeted by drug therapy which can be hit or miss and, in turn, trigger a range of side effects. But is there an enduring, profound and natural alternative surrounding us? Science suspects there is. The sea. And more specifically, its waves. The latest research is aimed at understanding why spending time in the surf is bringing profound relief to those with mental health issues and helping to sooth conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism. The US Army is using surf therapy to help mend broken soldiers returning from warzones with crippling PTSD and it’s having a significant impact. Here in Australia, digger James Milliss is haunted by the demons of PTSD, while his son Johnny is autistic. James discovered by accident what science is trying to formally discern – that he and Johnny get amazing relief from their conditions by spending time in the surf. Sunday Night’s Denham Hitchcock takes us to the frontiers of brain research and to some of the world’s most stunning surf spots to reveal how it works. Along the way he becomes the first person ever to have brain activity measured in real time while riding a wave. The results are revealing. And at the forefront of this effort to understand the healing power of waves is the master of them himself. Eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater is an ambassador for surfing therapy and he reveals why he also believes the power the ocean can be harnessed to conquer many ills. He also makes James Milliss’ dream come true, surfing with him on some spectacular breaks near Kelly’s home in Hawaii.

Sunday at 7.00pm on Seven.