April is the Month of the Military Child and as I think about why we set-aside a month for this purpose, I reflect on the phrase “Kids serve, too.” You’ll often hear this phrase used as a short-hand acknowledgement of the fact that children of our military Service members make sacrifices right alongside their parents. The life of a military child includes challenges such as frequent relocations, long separations from a deployed parent (or parents) and the uncertainty that can come from being a part of a military-connected family. Since 2001, over two million children have experienced the military deployment of a parent with many of them experiencing multiple deployments.
Blog posts with the tag "Staff Perspective"
What do we say to our clients who perceive that discussing military experiences is akin to “leaking” classified information or will result in legal consequences? Some things can only occur when we can be confident that our disclosures and behavior will be kept hidden from the public eye. Standards related to confidentiality are enshrined in the ethics codes of all mental health disciplines precisely because these standards allow our clients to speak about their issues in a candid manner without fear that their disclosures could be used to harm them.
Recently I was invited to attend a lecture by LTC (Ret.) Dave Grossman titled “The Psychological Effect of Combat.” I knew of LTC Grossman because so many of my military clients raved about his books, On Killing and On Combat. I was intrigued to see him speak, but was also quite skeptical about his message and expected to disagree with him at every turn.
Over the last several years there has been an increased emphasis on providing evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) in military and Veteran healthcare environments to treat PTSD. The Institute of Medicine (2007) produced a report indicating that the DoD and VA lacked evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of the treatments they are providing. The report was not suggesting the treatments themselves were not effective, but simply that both the VA and DoD did not have a system in place for measuring the effectiveness of the treatment in those environments. Further inquiry in a variety of studies indicated that only a small portion of individuals diagnosed with PTSD even received EBPs.
Have you ever said “I tend to overthink everything?” Most of us fall victim to some degree of overthinking. We search for more and more information, we focus on the details while losing sight of the big picture or we “choke” under pressure even when we are engaged in doing something we know we are good at.