Many years ago, I just had one name and one role. I was Katie. That’s who I was, and that was all. Throughout this journey of life, I have adopted and adapted to other names and other roles. I have been Airman, Miss, and teacher. About ten years ago, I became wife. That was a major role change on its own, but I added “military wife” to it as well. Having been a military member myself, the military lifestyle wasn’t so hard to adapt to until I added my next name, Mama.
Blog posts with the tag "Guest Perspective"
This scenario played out 14 years ago, as the USS Constellation prepared to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and I remember that morning like it happened yesterday. On October 2, 2002, my son joined a new generation of heroes that left to safeguard our country.
My husband and I joined the military in 2008 as psychology residents with the vague, distant understanding that deployment was a possibility for both of us. Just like anything that seems stressful and perhaps mildly unpleasant, but too far in the future, we paid little attention to our fears and concerns. However, I don’t think either of us anticipated that our experience with deployment would coincide with the birth of our one and only child.
On December 8th, 2015, Dictionary.com announced that the Word of the Year was Identity, partly because of the expanding conversations about gender identity. The news stood out to me because 2015 was a year I learned a lot from working with transgender patients.
I was trained in the Primary Care Behavioral Health Consultation model (PCBH; Robinson & Reiter, 2016) while I was a pre-doctoral clinical psychology resident (intern) in early 2007. As a young U.S. Air Force (USAF) officer and clinician, I found the primary care rotation to be exciting and exhausting. However, as a colleague of mine says, the primary care bug bit hard and I was hooked! I enjoyed the fast-paced generalist environment and the need to be prepared for anything. After graduation, I was fortunate to continue doing part-time PCBH work until I separated from the USAF in 2015. The USAF calls their PCBH program the Behavioral Health Optimization Program, a.k.a. BHOP (USAF, 2014). I BHOPped along for a few years until I was certified as an official “mentor” by Patti Robinson in 2011. For three years thereafter, I trained residents in BHOP. I truly had no idea that the skills I learned during my residency rotation would prove so valuable not just in primary care clinics, but also in a variety of other military settings, including the deployed environment.