I have been training providers in Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE) and collecting outcome data for the past seven years. Since I arrived at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, I have been involved in the training of approximately 45 clinicians in PE and collected outcomes for over 300 cases. And while what follows is certainly not an exhaustive list of factors to consider in providing PE to a Veteran population, it does represent a convergence of my clinical observations and our empirical findings. With that stated, my findings and observations in providing PE to veterans are: 1) therapist experience matters; 2) service-connection is an important issue; and 3) not enough attention is paid to safety behaviors.
Blog posts with the tag "Guest Perspective"
Although the pace of deployment has decreased in recent years, military members continue to deploy to combat zones and other areas around the globe. Behavioral health providers who serve a military population are well aware of the ebbs and flows of stresses on military members and their families around deployment cycles. Modern evidence-based care includes use of appropriate psychotherapies and medications to treat major depressive disorder, PTSD, and other deployment-related conditions. In addition to providing good care, it is important to consider the compatibility of treatments with future deployments. The following article will discuss the concepts of deployment-limiting conditions and the impact of psychotropic medications on deploy ability.
It should not surprise you to hear that employment is critical for good mental health and can even be part of the treatment for your clients who may have mental health issues. Even though you are not a career counselor, you can still have an enormous impact on your Veteran clients by helping them in their search for post-military employment. This blog will outline the mental health benefits of employment and explain why you should consider integrating the issue of employment into your repertoire of tools for helping your clients. It then suggests how you can help your Veteran clients with their search for employment and lists resources that you can use with them.
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.
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.