I have been a clinical psychologist for almost 20 years. Nine of those years were as an active duty Air Force (AF) psychologist. Additionally, I have been a military spouse for almost 14 years, with three of those years overlapping with my active duty service. Both roles have their own rewards as well as their own challenges. And (as you can imagine) when you combine the two, things can get a little interesting.
Blog posts with the tag "Military Couples"
Recently Dr. Jenny Phillips wrote about ways that military couples can manage expectations and communication while deployed. One of things that stood out for me was the recommendation to utilize active and open communication. As part of an ongoing project, I’ve recently been diving into the literature on therapeutic encounter skills (e.g., empathy, active listening), and I realized the relevance that active listening has when also talking about couples’ communication.
Most of us know it’s important to be satisfied in a romantic relationship and yet, at some point in our lives, many of us have continued to engage in a relationship of which we were unhappy. So, what’s the big deal with staying in a romantic relationship which no longer fulfills us?
Couples communication during deployments is an important part of relationship maintenance for military families. In recent decades, enhanced access and new mechanisms for deployed communication have brought benefits but also new concerns related to communication frequency and content for couples. This blog reviews recent research findings and resulting recommendations for couples navigating communication expectations, social media, and communication blackouts during deployments.
Most Service members see deployments as short term intervals, usually interruptions, in their lives. Family, however, is usually viewed as a constant. Communicating with our families, friends, and loved ones while we are deployed is a critical concern for nearly every Service member. Many find it difficult to strike a balance between trying to manage personal and family relationships and remaining focused on the mission and the needs of fellow Service members while deployed. Below is an abbreviated look at how deployment communication has changed over my career, ways my family and I have tried to adapt, and a look at future deployment communication challenges.