Transforming the Legacy: Couple Therapy with Survivors of Childhood Trauma

By Kathryn Karusaitis Basham; Dennis Miehls | Go to book overview

12
Military Couples and Families

The lives of military couples are shaped not only by the values and responsibilities integral to a military role but also, in specific ways, by the impact of active combat and exposure to armed conflict. As mentioned earlier in the historical review in Chapter 2, interest in traumatology burgeoned in the aftermath of World War I, spurred by the emergence of “shell shock” (Young, 1995). In the years after World War II, clinicians were better prepared to assist war veterans in dealing with their combat reactions, offering a combination of pharmacological and supportive methods. In 1980, with thousands of veterans returning from the Vietnam war, a definable diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) emerged to describe combatrelated phenomena. In the decades from the 1980s onward increased attention has been directed to the mental health and health needs, not only of the active military member, but also of the partners and families affected by the veterans mental health status. As a result, a variety of psychoeducational methods have been introduced to assist couples and families in coping with combat-related phenomena (Compton & Follett, 1998; Hogencamp & Figley, 1983; Johnson, Feldman, & Lubin, 1995; Nelson & Wright, 1996; Rabin & Nardi, 1991; Riggs, Byrne, Weathers, & Litz, 1998; Solomon, 1988).

It has become increasingly evident that partners and families were deeply affected, as were the active-duty servicemen and—women directly involved in or exposed to combat. Veterans of the Gulf War and their families faced the additional burden of having to respond to threats of biological and chemical weapons (Yerkes & Holloway, 1996). As this was one of the first wars to be televised via “live simultaneous footage” (Norwood & Ursano, 1996), family members were bombarded with immediate exposure to these wartime events. More recently, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have rapidly trans-

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Transforming the Legacy: Couple Therapy with Survivors of Childhood Trauma
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Section I - Context 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Historical Review 15
  • Section II - Theoretical Foundations 35
  • 3 - Social Theory 37
  • 4 - Family Theory 51
  • 5 - Trauma Theory 70
  • 6 - Object Relations Theory 91
  • 7 - Attachment Theory 113
  • Section III - Couple Therapy Practice 131
  • 8 - Biopsychosocial Assessment 133
  • 9 - Phase-Oriented Couple Therapy Model 154
  • 10 - Clinician Responses: Working with Traumatized Couples 212
  • 11 - Clinical Case Illustration 242
  • Section IV - Specific Clinical Issues 283
  • 12 - Military Couples and Families 285
  • 13 - Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Couples and Families 303
  • 14 - Immigrant and Refugee Couples and Families 315
  • References 331
  • Index 365
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