Disorderor Special Population Group More than 1.7 million U.S. militarymembers have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq (Bernhardt, 2009). Posttraumaticstress disorder (PTSD) has affected many service members in Operation EnduringFreedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). According to Moran, Schmidt, & Burker (2013), approximately one insix service members of the U.
S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps meet the criteria forPTSD. They also meet criteria for generalized anxiety disorder and depression (Moran,Schmidt, & Burker, 2013). PTSD prevalence rates have gone up in the Armyand National Guard from 20.7% to 30.5% (Moran, Schmidt, & Burker, 2013).
The exposure to combat is directly correlated to the development of PTSD (Moran,Schmidt, & Burker, 2013). A study found that more than 80% of Army andMarine service members have been exposed to killing an enemy, been shot at,handled dead bodies, or known someone that was injured or killed (Moran, Schmidt,& Burker, 2013). Research suggests that mental health issues after adeployment, such as PTSD, are associated with a physical injury duringdeployments (Rubin, Weiss, & Coll, 2013). According to Clausen, Youngren, Sisante, Billinger, Taylor, &Aupperle (2016), “Posttraumatic stress disorder is characterized by intrusion,hypervigilance, negative alteration in mood and cognitions, and avoidance inresponse to distressing and/or trauma-related stimuli and situations.” Militaryservice members are more likely to experience traumatic experiences due totheir combat exposure. This leaves the military population more vulnerable todeveloping PTSD.
PTSD can be a very debilitating disorder to live with as someof the symptoms include an altered time sense, confusion, emotional numbing,impulsivity, and liability of mood (Moran, Schmidt, & Burker, 2013). Thereare many effective interventions for treating PTSD such as Cognitive ProcessingTherapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET), and Brief EclecticPsychotherapy (BEP), but Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)will be the chosen intervention for the purpose of this paper.Methodsof Engagement Due to themasculine warrior paradigm in the military there is still such a stigma inseeking help for mental health issues.
This leads to many service members notever receiving the treatment they need for their PTSD. Friedman (2004), believesthat the stigma is what keeps service members from seeking treatment. Approximatelyonly 19% of military personnel with a psychiatric disorder ever seek treatment,whereas in the civilian population the rate is about 28.5% (Friedman, 2004, p.
77). Even lowerthan that is the rate of service members with PTSD that actually seek treatmentwhich is approximately only 4.1% (Friedman, 2004, p. 77). Seeking treatment forPTSD in the military can be perceived as being weak or even failing and thereis also the fear of it ruining their career (Friedman, 2004, p. 77). According to Reyes (2011), militarymembers are more likely to be encouraged to obtain mental health services byspouses and family members than to go on their own.
Service members that arestill on active duty can receive mental health services at their duty stationsby self-referring or getting referred by their chain of command. Most duty stationshave mental health clinics or mental health clinicians that they can go to butservice members often would rather not go due to the fear of their chain ofcommand finding out. A service member can receive outpatient mental healthservices outside of their duty station for marriage counseling since theirspouse is the primary patient. Otherwise, getting a referral for outpatientmental health services outside of their duty station can prove to be quitedifficult. Once a service member has been honorably discharged, they can seekmental health services at their local VA hospitals. It is important to keep the militaryculture in mind whenever working with an active military member or veteran.
Thiscan be crucial in order to initiate an empathic and effective therapeuticrapport (Reyes, 2011). One might ask the service member various questionsregarding their military service and learn about what they were like beforetheir time in service (Reyes, 2011). Once therapeutic rapport has beenestablished the therapist should provide informed consent as well as educationabout the therapeutic process (Reyes, 2011). This would include providing a psycho-educationaldiscussion about PTSD to allow the service member to better understand whatthey are dealing with (Reyes, 2011). Before the client can even approach thetrauma, it is important to establish safety and self-control (Reyes, 2011).