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.

  • Helping Military Teams Manage Acute Stress When It Matters Most January 13, 2020

    Imagine a team of service members in the middle of a fire fight – the explosions, the smells, the flashes of light, the fear. And now imagine that one of them gets so overwhelmed by stress that they freeze. They stop functioning, and now the team is down one service member and maybe two or more, as the team has to treat the affected individual. What do we, as mental health professionals, advise teams to do in a moment like this? What procedures are in place to help address an acute combat stress reaction when it matters most: in the midst of a life-threatening situation?

  • Present-centered Therapy Versus Trauma-focused Treatments for PTSD: And the Winner is… December 9, 2019

    Nearly all behavioral health providers have heard of trauma-focused treatments for PTSD. Some exalt treatments such as cognitive processing therapy (CPT) and prolonged exposure (PE) as the gold-standard treatments for PTSD, while others criticize exposure-based approaches as over-hyped. Realistically, the truth likely lies somewhere in the gray zone between the two camps. A robust body of evidence and clinical practice guidelines support trauma-focused treatments as some of the most effective psychosocial treatments for PTSD.

  • Spotlight on Seasonal Depression November 25, 2019

    The days are now shorter, the temperature is colder, and the winter solstice is still weeks away. You may be starting to notice patients coming in and complaining of decreased mood and lethargy. Is it the beginning of a cold?  Or the “winter blues”? Or might they be suffering from seasonal depression? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), refers to seasonal depression as major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern.

  • Behavioral Health Technician Research Update: Current Findings and Next Steps November 12, 2019

    You’ve likely read some of our earlier Clinician’s Corner blogs about military behavioral health technicians and you may have wondered if there’s any research on the topic. The answer is now “Yes!” RAND Corporation recently released a new study, Understanding Behavioral Health Technicians within the Military: A Review of Training, Practice, and Professional Development.

  • Question and Verify: TRICARE Authorized Civilian Mental Health Facility Referrals October 28, 2019

    You’ve determined your patient requires a referral to a specialized mental health in-patient or residential care facility to participate in an intensive treatment program with 24-7 structured support and medical oversight. But knowing where and how to refer your patient for an increased level of care can pose a challenge, especially if your military treatment facility (MTF) is not located near a major treatment center that offers inpatient or residential mental health services.

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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.