I catch myself in a trap every so often, as my colleagues have, getting so caught up in selling the phases outlined in a treatment modality that I haven’t taken the time to hear the words from the patients’ perspective. And, working with an all military culture, I’ve found that when this happens I’ve usually lost the patient. I’ve used terms that simply don’t resonate with them and they are less willing to engage in whatever awesome thing I’m trying to get them to try.
Blog posts with the tag "Review"
Recently I was invited to attend a lecture by LTC (Ret.) Dave Grossman titled “The Psychological Effect of Combat.” I knew of LTC Grossman because so many of my military clients raved about his books, On Killing and On Combat. I was intrigued to see him speak, but was also quite skeptical about his message and expected to disagree with him at every turn.
As a Deployment Behavioral Health Psychologist with the Center for Deployment Psychology, one of my specific areas of interest is that of suicide. I am fortunate enough to be able to teach pre-doctoral interns and civilian mental health providers about suicide prevalence, theory, associated risk and protective factors, as well as treatment. In addition, I work in a military treatment facility, so I see patients and supervise interns with their caseloads.
As part of my job with the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) as a Deployment Behavioral Health Psychologist, I have the privilege of training psychology students in their last year of training—the predoctoral internship. Our faculty have a lot to teach them in that one year: military officership AND military psychology. In addition, we want to make sure that each intern’s skills as a generalist are well-grounded with strong abilities in assessment, consultation, and treatment. Since we carefully select our interns from among the most competitive applicants, we usually have the luxury of “fine-tuning” during the internship year. In other words, as faculty, we get to work with advanced psychology students and hone some special skills.
While every provider may experience some initial discomfort with implementing an unfamiliar treatment, I am often surprised with how resistant many mental health providers are toward learning and implementing evidence-based treatments. An article on this topic by Scott Lilienfeld and colleagues demonstrates this resistance, reasons for it, and potential ways to work through it. I believe providers on all sides of this issue should read this article as a way to both consider another perspective and to clarify their own opinions.