In graduate school I was interested in the role of child abuse and spirituality/religiousness on psychological health. I examined the impact of child abuse on positive and negative religious coping among combat veterans with PTSD. Through my clinical experience working with Veterans, I came to discover the unique role chaplains have in quality of life, especially psychological well-being. For some Veterans, it was less stigmatizing to speak with a chaplain than a mental health provider. For others, they found comfort in the confidentiality that clergy provided. Although, this was not a surprise, it highlighted the importance of mental health providers learning more about chaplaincy and possible collaboration between the disciplines.
Blog posts with the tag "Staff Voices"
Every year for the past five years as our new class of Army Psychology Interns arrives for orientation at Brooke Army Medical Center, we have them watch the film “Return With Honor” by filmmakers Freida Lee Mock and Terry Sanders. This is not a new film, being made in 2001 by Public Broadcasting Services. Despite this, two successive active duty training directors have considered it important enough that our new intern officers should watch. I agree with them.
Here in the Pacific Region, I am aware of what appears to be taking place across the Army, a great commitment and rapid transition toward building Embedded Behavioral Health (EBH) teams. I noticed Service Members were no longer blindly picking and choosing a mental health provider. Instead, there are now teams including psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and case managers assigned to a specific battalion, creating a more accessible pathway toward treatment.
In a previous blog entry (entitled “New Experiences, New Perspectives - Improving Therapy Outcomes”), I discussed the clinical utility of having Service Members who have deployed work to integrate their deployment-related experiences into the self, versus suppressing and/or avoiding them. My discussion focused more or less on what might be accomplished in the individual psychotherapy situation. In this entry, I will briefly argue for its use in group psychotherapy, as I have seen improvements (i.e., a decrease in symptom presentation) in individuals’ general mood and dispositions related to their deployment experiences.
When we think about the families of service members, we often picture a spouse, perhaps several children, struggling to cope with military moves, long absences, and the upheaval of the deployment cycle. But other family members struggle to adjust to military service as well. Parents of Service Members are an unrecognized group, who often don’t receive the attention they deserve for devotedly buoying their sons and daughters throughout the deployment cycle. These mothers and fathers are rarely validated for what they go through or thanked for the endless support they give their sons and daughters.