During my 20+ years working in the mental health field, I have worked with multiple military-connected couples. Often, the entry point for couples’ work was a spouse who had been given an ultimatum about working on resolving marital conflict or face separation/divorce. In one study by Pflieger et al. (2018), researchers found that while military couples face additional stressors, the majority of marital dissatisfaction can be explained by stressors not unique to the military service. In my work with couples, I found this to be true. While many of the stressors may have surfaced during their military service (i.e., conflict regarding parental responsibilities during the deployment cycle), the stressors themselves are also found in civilian couples
Blog posts with the tag "Clinical Skills"
One of the courses that I teach frequently for the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) is “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression: Working with Service Members & Veterans” (CBT-D). At CDP, we update all of our courses regularly to ensure that they’re current and fresh. With the current CBT-D workshop updates, I’m excited to be able to incorporate information from Dr. Judith Beck’s newly released third edition of Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond.
Providing therapy to military-connected clients with PTSD during the pandemic has raised my awareness about the intersection between trauma symptoms, COVID-19-related anxiety and distress, and military values that can help individuals cope with the outbreak like having good situational awareness, taking individual responsibility, applying discipline, and striving for the larger mission to maintain safety and protect others. My clinical work has also led me to think more about how the pandemic is impacting military members and their families overall.
Have you heard about Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE)? This session-by-session therapist guide, written by Dr. Sudie Back and colleagues, was published in 2015. However, when I mention it at Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) workshops, few therapists in the audience have heard about it.
Several years ago, I was co-facilitating a group Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) session with several BIPOC (Black, Indiginous, People of Color), Vietnam Veterans. During agenda setting, one of the Veterans in the group wanted to discuss a Challenging Beliefs Worksheet (CBW) that he had completed during the past week. I acknowledged his request, and, since he didn’t often speak about his practice assignments, I asked the group if we could start with his agenda item. The rest of the group agreed.