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.

  • Common Cognitive Biases in Caring for Patients November 27, 2017

    I’m the best driver I know.

    There I said it.

    It’s obvious. Look at those drivers driving too fast (or too slow), riding uncomfortably close to my bumper, weaving through traffic, not stopping for three seconds at a stop sign, no turn signal, breaking too often or too hard, running a red light, drifting across the lane line – the list could go on and on.

    Sound familiar?

    Why do I (we) think this? And how is this related to patient care? The short answer – bias.

  • 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.

  • What Doesn't Kill You Changes You: Clinical Considerations for Exploring Posttraumatic Growth November 15, 2017

    In my experience, service members and veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) don’t resonate with the popular notion that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” In fact, individuals who present for PTSD treatment generally report feeling quite the opposite: fearful, unsafe, on edge, exhausted, isolated, and out of control.

  • Post-traumatic Growth Among Service Members: Are Negative Outcomes the Only Outcomes? November 13, 2017

    Research on traumatic stress in the military tends to focus on negative stress reactions that service members can experience. But many service members affected by trauma also share nuanced stories of loss and struggle that result in unexpected opportunities for personal growth. Posttraumatic growth (PTG), a term coined by Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun, is defined as the positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis. The concept of PTG challenges the common assumption that tragedy only results in negative outcomes.

  • CAT, Dogs, and Science November 6, 2017

    CAT, or canine assisted therapy, is an intuitive treatment for potentially many mental health disorders. And, most of us love dogs. Folklore has even designated these canine companions mankind’s best friend. Their appeal is strong and clear, yet their connection to mental health treatment is a bit less evolved.

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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.