Clinician's Corner Blog

A PHCoE blog series written by leaders, clinicians and experts on current topics of interest for psychological health care providers in the Military Health System.

  • The Surprising Power of Gratitude: Strategies for Promoting Service Members’ Psychological Health Through Thankfulness Soldier sitting down reading a notebook November 20, 2017

    “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues,” wrote the Roman statesman Cicero, “but the parent of all of the others.” Indeed, the qualities of thankfulness and appreciation are well-established spiritual and social values. In recent years, however, gratitude has also emerged as a focus of intervention in medical and mental health treatment.

  • Exercise to Improve Mental Health U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Tam August 14, 2017

    “If exercise could be purchased in a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation.” -- Robert H. Butler

    The date is July 18, 2014. I’m competing at the U.S.A. Powerlifting National Competition in Denver. I made my first squat attempt of 451 pounds and my second attempt of 484 pounds. I’m now about to attempt my third and final squat of the day at 501 pounds. This is two and a half times my body weight. As I approach the weight, the voices in my head try to talk me out of it:

  • Biomarkers: The Future of PTSD Diagnosis and Treatment Monitoring? July 10, 2017

    When I tell people my background is in physiological psychology they respond with enthusiastic curiosity. Rats, brain lesions, fear conditioning – “so interesting.” But their eyes glaze over as soon as I start in on neural circuitry and the inhibitory influence of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex on the amygdala. I get it. It sounds like a foreign language or you find it extremely boring. Or maybe it sounds irrelevant to psychological health. After all, what does understanding physiology have to do with helping people who suffer with mental health disorders?

  • Updated PTSD Guidelines and Recommendations Released: Learn About the Changes July 6, 2017

    On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) released an updated version of the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) for the Management of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Acute Stress Disorder (ASD). The new version incorporates research conducted since the last revision in 2010 and covers treatment for both PTSD and ASD. There are several new recommendations, so both seasoned and new mental health practitioners should take time to review it.

  • Mobile Apps in Military Mental Health Care soldier holding a mobile phone March 27, 2017

    A tremendous number of mobile apps have launched that target treatment of mental health disorders. As a clinical psychologist and trained cognitive behavioral therapist, I often find myself wondering which apps could actually help patients and which apps aren’t worth the time and effort to incorporate into practice.

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The views expressed in Clinician's Corner blogs are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Psychological Health Center of Excellence or Department of Defense.