Dual Relationships and Psychotherapy

By Arnold A. Lazarus; Ofer Zur | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 21
Multiple Relationships
in Military Psychology

Ofer Zur, PhD and
Steve Gonzalez, PsyD

At approximately 9:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time on Sep-
tember 11, 2001, my long-term “therapeutic relationship”
with most of my patients unexpectedly changed. When the
World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon
military installation in Washington, DC, were attacked, my
relationship with my patients immediately became a clear
dual relationship. War had been declared against and by
the United States, and at that moment it became perfectly
evident that my primary role was no longer as psychologist
but as a Naval Officer with a secondary function as staff
psychologist. When our unit was mobilized a short time
later, my patients and I became shipmates: the office was
replaced with a ship and the couch with bunks. We were
no longer doctor and patient, but comrades in arms with
the common goal of national defense.

—Steve Gonzalez, PsyD Lt. MSC, U.S. Navy


GENERAL BACKGROUND OF MILITARY PSYCHOLOGY

The practice of psychology or psychiatry in the military is a unique situation and is markedly different from private practice and most other

The views expressed in this chapter are maintained by the authors and are not to be attributed
to the Department of Defense or the Navy.

-315-

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