Recently I reviewed the current literature on military families and deployment in preparation for updating the Center for Deployment’s (CDP) online course, The Impact of Deployment on Families and Children. While this is a topic that I’ve been teaching since I first joined the CDP almost nine years ago, I was excited when I ran across an article that summarized the deployment cycle challenges that military families face in a new way.
Blog posts with the tag "Military Families"
I have been watching and experiencing Navy deployment reunifications for decades. As a clinical social worker, I’ve talked to many Sailors and families about what they can expect following a deployment. The first deployment I personally experienced was in the mid-90s when my now-husband and I first started dating. His Japan-based ship was completing a scheduled five-month deployment. In those days, families knew the date the ship was leaving, the date they would return, as well as dates and locations of every port visit while they were out.
I like to be helpful. It’s one of the reasons I became a psychologist. You could say it’s my mission. Sometimes I get a phone call or an email from a distant relation, a friend, an acquaintance, or even a resourceful stranger who found my name on a website or blog. These people often have questions about psychotherapy.
When my husband decided to join the US Navy, he and I were still dating. I had recently graduated with my Master’s degree in social work and just started my first “real” job, working as a substance abuse counselor for incarcerated adolescents. I still remember the day he told me he was thinking of joining the military. He asked if I was okay with his decision. I said I supported him, but would have to decide if I wanted to follow him down this path.
My professor set me up for success in the clinical world when I was tasked to read Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings: Human Cruelty and the New Trauma Therapy by Rebecca Coffey.The purpose was to prepare us as students to sit in the pocket of the client’s story, no matter how tragic or graphic. It was a challenging task as the book was filled with gruesome stories, including one of a Veteran, introducing me to the impact of combat trauma. It was a wake-up call to the high honor and power of listening to someone’s story, especially those of military families.