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Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF) Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF) Veterans Family Educational Group

Submitted to:

Xavier A. Spratts OEF/OIF Program Manager Behavior Medicine

Date: February 27, 2013

Stella A. Ampry-Haskin Student Counselor Behavior Health Unit San Bernardino Valley College

The Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Family Educational Group Plan was developed to assist the families of returning veterans conduct their own self-exploration into their current life situations with their returning veteran. To provide a safe and cohesive therapeutic environment for families to share their issues and challenges that they face after their family member returns from military combat service.

February 27, 2013

Ms. Xavier A. Spratts OEF/OIF Program Manager Loma Linda Veterans Medical Center 11201 Benton Street Loma Linda, CA 92357 RE:

Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Family Educational Group

Dear Ms. Spratts, I am pleased to present this proposal for your review. I look forward to partnering with you to provide an educational family group for our veterans whose families are seeking some assistant in coping with the stresses of their returning love ones from combat. The objective of OEF/OIF Veterans Family Educational Group is to help all veterans’ families gain some understanding as to the issues they are facing though commonalities in the group and to provide a safe environment to which the families can express their thoughts, feelings and issues with other families who love ones are returning from war. I have seen measurable success in the alcohol and drug addiction unit which provides significant others and family members with a safe and open forum group to which finding other ways to handle difficult situations with their family member can be achieved. I am now seeking to develop a group which focuses on the families of the current veterans that are coming home with injuries both mental and physical. I appreciate Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom taking an interest in exploring additional ways to help our veterans and their families achieve the reestablishment of a normal family life again. Please give me a call at 909-763-2731 if you require any further information or have any questions concerning this proposal. Thank you, Stella Alecia Ampry-Haskin Student Counselor

Objectives of the group are:

Information: Families receive information about their problems from either the group leader or the other members of the group. Universality: Mainly individuals develop the sense that they are the only persons who have such frightening and unacceptable situations. In the group individuals observe that others also feel anguish and suffering. Altruism: Group members support one another with the advice and sympathy and learn that they have something to offer others.

Corrective recapitulation of the family group: A therapy group often resembles a family (and, in family therapy, the group is family), with leaders representing parents and other members siblings. In this new family, old wounds can be healed and new, more positive family ties made.

Interpersonal learning: The group can serve as a training ground for practicing new behaviors and relationships in order to applied within their own family.

Goals of the Group

The goals for these families in the group are to develop a bond within the group in order to build trust that will enable them to freely examine their issues without fearing bias and prejudice. Teaches family members about how families function in general and, in particular, how their own functions. Helps the family focus less on the member who has been identified as ill, and focus more on the family as a whole. Assists in identifying conflicts and anxieties and helps the family develop strategies to resolve them. Strengthens all family members so they can work on their problems together. Teaches ways to handle conflicts and changes within the family differently. The group will focus on six areas of the Veterans Family Educational Group Plan which consist of a continuously rotating group sessions:

All therapy groups exist to help individuals grow emotionally and solve personal problems. All utilize the power of the group, as well as the therapist who leads it, in this process.

Group Session 1

What are some of the main situations that you’re facing since your love one has returned back to the United States? Out of these situations, which ones would you like to focus on first and why? Are these situations causing you to become depressed? Anger Sad Group session 2 What are your thoughts when you are faced with these situations? Has it been difficult to discuss these situations with your spouse? Who do you discuss these situations with the most? Have they been supportive? Group session 3 How has these life situations affected your family thus far? What type of feelings arises when you are comforted with these situations? How do you cope with these feelings? Group session 4 How do you handle these feelings? How does your behavior change when you are going through these feelings? Has the way in which you have handle these situations helped you or hurt you?

Group session 5 What would you like to get out of this group? How will you determine that what you are learning is helping you? Are you willing to share your experiences as you experience them with the group? What has motivated you to attend this group?

Group Sessions Outline

Group session 1 will focus on:

Step One (L/S) Life Situation

Difficulties with current family situations Discuss the family inability to talk about the feelings concerning their family member. How it


them now in their current everyday life. Technique: All group members tell a little about themselves and why they are here

Group session 2 will focus on:

Step Two (T) Thoughts

The thoughts, as it relates to their spouse and family, and the community What are some of the thoughts the family member processes as they adjust to the veteran coming back into the family structure Technique: All group members write on a provided piece of paper (from counselor) their most disturbing thought about their spouse.

Group session 3 will focus on:

Step Three (F) Feelings

The feelings, as it relates to the veteran What are the feelings that the family group experiences as their love ones try to acclimate themselves back into society’s mainstream. Techniques: Discussion on the thoughts and how they relate to the feelings

Group session 4 will focus on:

Step Four (A) Actions

The actions, as it relates to the veterans family. The action and behavior that the group member normally makes as it relates to their family situation. Technique: Role Playing/Reflection

Group session 5 will focus on:

Step Five (TLC) Total Life Change

The Process The therapeutic process, we will examine the different approaches to achieving the Total Life Change that the members of the group can take in handling situations when they arise. Technique: Role Playing/Group Discussion

Group session 6 will focus on:

Step 6 (L/C) Life Change

Results of the Veterans Family Educational Group The progress of the group members as it relates to the implementing of the Total Life Change Therapy approaches.

Technique: Writing the Total Life Change Model on blackboard with the family group implemented change approach. Materials used during the group session:

Blackboard Films/Videos Role Playing Therapy techniques Group Discussions/Self-Exploration Handouts

Anticipated Problems: Resistance Non-participation (sleeping) Distractions (Leaving group to go to bathroom) Disruptive behavior Anger Outburst Lateness to group Denial

Post- Test Questionnaire Evaluation of group progress

Do you feel you have developed a bond with your group? Please explain

Do you feel this group has been beneficial to you? Please explain

Have you been able to shared issues in this group? Please explain

Have you been able to utilize the Veterans Family Educational Therapy Group? Please explain

Have you responded to your spouse and family in a more productive approach? Please explain

How are you feeling about yourself, your returning veteran since attending the group? Please explain

What did you find to be the best tool that you can take with you into your family? Please explain

To help improve on this education group what recommendations do you have?

Proposal for OIF:OEF families groups