Counseling Military Families
What Mental Health Professionals Need to Know
By Lynn K. Hall
Foreword by Mary Edwards Wensch
Routledge – 2008 – 328 pages
According to the United States Department of Defense, by the end of 1993 there were 2,036,646 reservists and family members and 3,343,235 active duty and family members for a total of 5,379,781 people affected by the military. Since then, because of the conflict in Iraq, the numbers have dramatically increased. While we have always had military families in our midst, not since the Vietnam War have their struggles been so vivid, particularly with alarming rates of increase of both suicide and divorce among military personnel. The face of the military has changed; for the first time a volunteer army is serving in a major combat zone, the level of reservists serving is unprecedented, the percentage of women soldiers in virtually all positions is unprecedented and most of the soldiers have left spouses and/or families behind.
The objectives of Counseling Military Families are to help the practicing counselor understand how the military works, what issues are constants for the military family, and what stressors are faced by the military member and the family. The book will begin with an overview of military life, including demographic information and examples of military family issues, before delving into specific chapters focused on the unique circumstances of reservists, career service personnel, spouses, and children. The final section of the book will present treatment models and targeted interventions tailored for use with military families. This book will help counselors tailor their interventions to work well with families who are in transition, who may have an ingrained resistance to asking for help and who will, more than likely, be available for counseling for a relatively short period of time.
"The proposal presents as an original perspective in that it fills gaps where other similar material falls short. The approach that seems most useful is the direct application that the author proposes using a specific model of practice/intervention that will provide practitioners with the knowledge and skills helpful in working with this unique population." - Elwood R. Hamlin II, DSW, School of Social Work, Florida Atlantic University
"I believe further attention should be paid to support groups (need for groups of like minded individuals), natural resiliencies within individuals, families and social support, connection to the larger community, family support near and far from military family (lack of understanding by family members not in military), chaplain’s work and family life centers as hubs for separation times. The component of trauma and the power differential in enlisted and officer families is very important to understand." - Monica G. Darcy, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Counseling, Educational Leadership and School Psychology, Rhode Island College
"Counseling Military Families is an important book both for the clinical insights it provides into this area of practice, and for making a conscious effort to help civilian practitioners feel a little more comfortable in treating military service members and veterans. As the wars of the past ten years wind down, a second battle for the minds and lives of those who served is just beginning, and they're going to need all the help they can get. This book is an important tool in that effort." - Laurence Miller, PhD, International Journal of Emergency Mental Health
Setting the Stage. Introduction: Rationale and Purpose. Military Service Members. The Military Family. The Unique Culture of the Military. The Military Family. The Children. Other Military Families to Consider. Working with Military Families. Major Challenges of Military Families. The Transition Journey. Effective Interventions. Military Family Case Studies. Resources.