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.
Blog posts with the tag "Military Couples"
In a recent blog I wrote about resilience in military couples, and one of the key things that’s consistent in the literature is that communication is one of the fundamental processes in building resilience. We also know that one unique aspect of many military families’ lives is the experience of deployment. Research has shown that one of the best ways for couples and families to maintain a sense of connection during deployments is through communication.
It has now been over a year since the majority of behavioral health providers have moved to predominantly or exclusively providing therapy via telehealth. This week’s blog will examine several publications sharing initial findings about the experience of online couples therapy by providers and patients as well as some lessons learned over the past year.
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
Family resilience is also a topic that my colleagues and I have discussed a great deal over the past few months in regards to the current pandemic. So, my interest was piqued when I recently ran across an article by Dr. Heather Prime and colleagues in American Psychologist focusing on how to encourage family resilience in the wake of COVID-19-related stressors. One of the first things I noticed was that the conceptual framework that they use is very similar to the one we describe when talking about military family resilience in our training events.