Military Families

Military Service Members and their Families

When one member of your family is a military service member, the whole family serves. When one member of your family volunteers to give up some control of what job he/she will do or where he/she will live, your entire family can be impacted. Deployments and reintegration can be challenging. Spouses at home face the stress of extended separation from their partner, uncertainty about the safety of their service member, or the pressure of parenting alone often far from the support of extended family. Marital bonds may be challenged because of the distance between you and your service member or long, unpredictable work hours. Worry about finances, employment, and frequent PCSing can cause strain and invite tension in your relationships. Children of military families may struggle with complex emotions about deployments, reintegration, or moves to new parts of the world.

Many people struggle emotionally or confront significant life changes at some point in their lives. Military service members and their families – whether serving on Active Duty or in the Reserves or Guard – face these same challenges, as well as many specific to military service and culture. Many military service members may be hesitant to get help from on-base psychologists, therapists, or counselors because of concern that doing so will negatively impact their career. Military service members may also be hesitant to participate in therapy or counseling with an off-base, non-military psychologist, therapist, or counselor because of concern that this individual may not understand the unique realities of military life.

Mental Health Concerns of Military Service Members and their Families

Any experience that causes emotional stress can be traumatic. Military service members are particularly vulnerable to being exposed to trauma. In addition to the possibility of deployment/combat trauma, some military service members have pre-service trauma (for example, childhood sexual, physical, or emotional abuse) or experience military sexual trauma during the course of their service.

Importantly, the mental health concerns of military service members and their families are not limited to the effects of trauma/PTSD. Life stressors, including those specific to military service, can generate anxietydepression, or other mental health concerns for military service members and their families.

A Psychologist Who Has Served

As an Air Force veteran, I’ve experienced the stressors of military life first-hand. I represent the best of both worlds – a civilian psychologist with a history of Active Duty military service who can empathize with the experiences of Active Duty service members, veterans, and their families. It can help to talk to someone who understands and can support you in making sense of your experiences and feelings.

While I have substantial experience treating a variety of people presenting with a wide range of mental health concerns, I specialize in trauma/PTSDEMDR; military service members, veterans, and their families; anxiety; depression; mindfulness; and therapy for emerging adults (18-30 year-olds).

If you’re a military service member, veteran, or military spouse who wants help coping with a mental health concern or life transition, I invite you to call or email me to discuss the challenges you are facing and how we can work together to help you meet your goals.