Date of Conferral

2018

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Human Services

Advisor

Dr. Mary Bold

Abstract

Active duty personnel as well as combat veterans of the United States often engage in military operations during their service that require deployments to participate in missions, which may lead to extended periods away from home. When active duty men and women are appointed to combat zones, they may return with psychological burdens such as post traumatic stress disorder, which can complicate their reintegration into civilian life. This study explored the experiences of combat veterans who faced challenges when returning home from a war zone, along with the experiences of their family members. The study involved 26 combat veterans, spouses, significant others, and parents. In data analysis, semistructured interview responses were given concerning personal experiences. The interviews produced a vast amount of information with manual notes. Participants discussed treatment, interventions, and strategies for family reintegration. Many of the veteran participants shared that family members did the â??best they couldâ?? to help them reintegrate. The themes received for the study were family reintegration, command strategies and intervention, community services, and mental health services. The study showed how combat veterans and family members can successfully complete family reintegration with social support as well as support from mental health professionals. In association with social change, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health practioners, and licensed professional counselors may benefit from the findings of this study. Professionals involved with mental health treatments and assessments would learn how to connect with combat veterans and family members. This study supports the recommendation that combat veterans and family members receive services from mental health professionals.

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