If you have ever worked with a combat Veteran, at some point you have heard frustration from both the Veteran and family members about their communication specific to details about combat experiences. I was recently listening to a patient of mine with this common problem, and he put it very well – “I should tell my wife everything. But I don’t…. I can’t. It is too much to pile on her, and it would hurt her. So I don’t. I push her away instead, block her questions out so my pain won’t be her pain.” Listening to him, and all the others with similar statements, always seems to take me back to the first time I explained this issue with a patient and his family.
Blog posts with the tag "Treatment"
One of the things that I have noticed over the years is that most people (including many clinicians and Service members) are confused about the clinical definition of “trauma.” These days, the word “trauma” has become a buzzword in our culture to describe negative life experiences that continue to have an impact on one’s life after the fact.
Depledge & Bird (2009) described the “blue gym” as an approach to promote well-being through being active in water environments such as surfing, kayaking, swimming, or walking along the beach. Being active can be stimulated by being near natural water. Stronger communities, stress reduction, and increased physical activity are three benefits from regular contact with natural environments. The blue gym helps us to connect to each other and the value of nature and our aquatic environments. There are some recent reports looking at the positive impact of surfing on PTSD symptoms for Veterans.
While most of our CDP blogs focus on some aspect of military behavioral health to include understanding, evaluating and treating various psychological wounds of war and reintegration challenges, we don’t often consider and discuss the spiritual conflicts that arise for many of our military-connected clients. These spiritual wounds and needs can have a significant impact and often caring for those needs goes beyond the skillset of a behavioral health provider. A referral or concurrent care addressing both behavioral and spiritual health needs might be the best course of action.
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.