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Healing Stress in Military Families: Eight Steps to Wellness

ISBN: 978-1-118-03821-5
230 pages
February 2012
Healing Stress in Military Families: Eight Steps to Wellness (1118038215) cover image
Eight practical steps to help military families through the unique issues they face

When service members return, it's up to their families to try to soften their re-entry into civilian life. Healing Stress in Military Families offers practical help for military families coping with the myriad repercussions of their loved ones' duties, from their deployment to their return home.

Based on the latest scientific research and best practice guidelines—as well as the authors' experience treating veterans and their families—Healing Stress in Military Families offers answers for the stress that comes not only from war, but also from other related issues, including deployment and redeployment, relocation, and reunion.

Healing Stress in Military Families provides:

  • Evidence-based advice for clinicians helping military families with adjustment problems by facilitating communication, reconnection, and growth

  • "Making It Real" exercises for clinicians to employ with families in sessions

  • "Talking Points" that explore how to guide the family in their healing process

  • Homework handouts and between-session "Taking Action" exercises for families that reinforce and build on skills and information introduced in sessions

Compassionately written with the military family at heart, Healing Stress in Military Families provides the information, tools, and skills that will empower these courageous families to more easily heal and become stronger and more resilient as they go through life.

"This practical workbook will help others understand the highly complex factors that cause dysfunction within military families. Using a clear format that avoids jargon, providers and families can work through the eight practical steps that focus on reconnecting the family and improving resiliency. This excellent book will surely become core material for anyone interested in working with military families."
Bradford Felker, MD, Director, Mental Health Primary Care Service, VA Puget Sound Health Care System and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington School of Medicine

"Healing Stress in Military Families: Eight Steps to Wellness is a timely, practical publication that recognizes and addresses the impact of traumatic stress on countless 'hidden victims,' our military families. The focus on empowerment and goal-directedness—versus illness, disorder and dysfunction—is so needed today."
Mark D. Lerner, PhD, President, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress

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Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

How to Use this Book xiii

Introduction

All in the Family: Sources of Stress xix

The 8 Steps to Healing and Wellness

Step 1 Connect 3

Step 2 Explain 17

Step 3 Discover 31

Step 4 Empower 47

Step 5 Improve 61

Step 6 Process 85

Step 7 Challenge 103

Step 8 Grow 127

Appendices: Handouts for Families and Clinicians

Appendix A Handouts for Military Families 151

Appendix B Clinicians’ Resource Guide 205

Appendix C Service Members and Military Families Resource Guide 209

References 215

About the Authors 223

Index 225

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DR. LORIE T. DeCARVALHO, PhD,is a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certifi ed expert in traumatic stress, pain management specialist, and peak performance coach. Dr. DeCarvalho is the former Founder and Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services for Adventist Health, Central California Network. She is the CEO of Center for Integrative Psychology & Wellness, Inc., a healthcare corporation that provides clinical care, consultation, education, and training for individuals and organizations at the national and international levels. She is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Prior to this, she served as an Education Specialist at the National Center for PTSD. She is the co-author of Healing Stress in Military Families: Eight Steps to Wellness, Clinician's Guide to Treating Stress After War: Education and Coping Interventions for Veterans, and Strategies for Managing Stress After War: Veteran’s Workbook and Guide to Wellness, as well as numerous other professional, educational general interest, and self-help publications.

Julia M. Whealin, PHD, is the Deputy Director for Education and a Research Health Scientist at the National Center for PTSD in the Veterans Affairs Pacific Island Health Care System. She is coauthor, with Lorie T. DeCarvalho and Edward M. Vega, of Clinician's Guide to Treating Stress After War: Education and Coping Interventions for Veterans and Strategies for Managing Stress After War: Veteran's Workbook and Guide to Wellness, both published by Wiley.

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"Healing Stress in Military Families offers practical help for military families coping with the myriad repercussions of their loved ones' duties, from their deployment to their return home." (Socialworktoday.com, April 2012)

"This excellent book will be highly useful for providers and anyone interested in helping military families reconnect and become more resilient in the setting of the enormous stress these families face on a daily basis. Using a clear format that avoids jargon, providers and families can work through the eight practical steps that focus on reconnecting the family and improving resiliency. The book includes highly useful "Making It Real" and "Taking Action" exercises that families can readily use and practice as they work through these chapters. This excellent book will surely become core material for anyone interested in working with military families."
Bradford Felker, MD, Director Deployment Health Service and Mental Health Primary Care Service Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System Commander, United States Reserves

"Military families are faced with incredible challenges such as deployment separation, constant relocation, and caring for loved ones with physical and psychological injuries. Unfortunately, due to the necessary attention paid to service members, families are often unintentionally overlooked. Drs. DeCarvalho and Whealin do an excellent job detailing the various challenges faced by military families and provide practical and helpful tips for increasing their resiliency in the face of adversity."
Bret A. Moore, Psy.D., ABPP

"Healing Stress in Military Families: Eight Steps to Wellness is a timely, practical publication that recognizes and addresses the impact of traumatic stress on countless "hidden victims," our military families. The focus on empowerment and goal-directedness—versus illness, disorder and dysfunction is so needed today."
Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D., President, Institute for Traumatic Stress

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