While conducting workshops for decades around the world for many different types of individuals, both professionals and laypeople, the answer to the question I frequently pose to attendees—“Who here had a week recently devoid of problems?” leads consistently to an absence of raised hands. We all have problems—some small, and unfortunately at times, some being quite overwhelming. Based on this common sense consensus, we would all further agree that it is not abnormal or unusual to have problems.
Blog posts with the tag "Guest Perspective"
When I was finishing up my clinical training on internship, I was co-leading a therapy group for WWII Veterans who had all been POWs while in theater. Here it was over 50 years since their military service and they all had the same complaint; they had not been able to get a good night of sleep since that time. This is unfortunately a common problem for Veterans and active duty Service members. There have now been several studies reporting high rates of sleep problems, in particular insomnia and nightmares.
A U.S. Veteran, I’ll call him Steve, walked into my office following his third and final military deployment. He was referred to me for an evaluation of a potential traumatic brain injury (TBI). As a member of an artillery unit, traveling across Iraq in convoys, Steve, who is a composite, not an actual person, witnessed many deaths and injuries; he felt lucky to have returned safely home without significant limitations, other than post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This past year our research team published the results of a randomized clinical trial (RCT) testing brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (BCBT) as compared to treatment as usual (TAU) for the prevention of suicidal behavior among military personnel. BCBT is the first scientifically-supported intervention for preventing suicidal behavior in the military. Soldiers who received the 12-session BCBT were 60% less likely to make a suicide attempt during the 2-year follow-up as compared to Soldiers who received TAU. As the public’s awareness of BCBT grows, there has been considerable interest in understanding more about this treatment. Below I provide answers to some of the most common questions asked about BCBT.
As a researcher and clinician who has worked with military personnel and Veterans for over 15 years, one of my most important priorities is providing the best assessment and treatment possible to those experiencing post-deployment mental health problems. While excellent, evidence-based treatments exist for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), many military personnel and Veterans continue to meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD after psychotherapy,1 highlighting an imperative need for innovative treatments. Designing, improving and implementing these treatments is a major focus of my research.