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
Helping Military Teams Manage Acute Stress When It Matters MostJanuary 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…
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.
Understanding Combat and Operational Stress Reactions
Understanding Combat and Operational Stress ReactionsJune 24, 2019
Combat and military operations are inherently stressful. Service members train hard to prepare mentally and physically for deployment, but they cannot completely avoid the stressors associated with serving. Be it lack of sleep, physical stress, exposure to extreme environmental conditions, or bearing witness to potentially traumatic events, service members will face a wide array of combat and operational stressors. As one might expect, these experiences can be very impactful, resulting in a broad spectrum of reactions.
The Mind, the Body, and Trauma: A Place for Complementary and Integrative Health Practices in the Treatment of PTSD
The Mind, the Body, and Trauma: A Place for Complementary and Integrative Health Practices in the Treatment of PTSDJune 18, 2018
Complementary and integrative health (CIH) practices have gained traction in recent years as ways to support coping in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Broadly, CIH approaches focus on the connection between mind and body, and include practices such as:
Treating Post-traumatic Nightmares in the Military: Imagery Rehearsal Therapy
Treating Post-traumatic Nightmares in the Military: Imagery Rehearsal TherapyJune 11, 2018
Nightmares and PTSD
Nightmares are one of the hallmark symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), though post-traumatic nightmares may exist independently and do not equate to a diagnosis of PTSD. Post-traumatic nightmares may be described as lengthy, detailed dreams in which the story line evokes intense fear, anxiety or other negative emotions. Many patients report that these nightmares involve trying to avoid or cope with some horrific danger that closely resembles a specific traumatic event.
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.