Why Veterans and First Responders
Many service members and first responders experience difficulties finding help. It can be hard to find an accessible, reliable, and trusted environment without significant barriers. Some of these barriers may include fear of being diagnosed/labeled and a concern that therapists/clinicians may not have the context to understand their world and experiences. Many tend to not reach out for help until life becomes really difficult, “the wheels start to come off,” and they have no other option.
Individually service members and first responders may struggle most with finding the camaraderie and deep connection with others they experienced during hardships due to training, shift work, life threatening experiences, long separations, austere environments, deployments, and direct combat. Moving to another unit, getting out of the military, medical retirement, or retirement are just a few events that my disrupt this sense of team, belonging, purpose, and reliability. Feeling isolated, alone, and misunderstood seems to be a breeding ground for many struggles
In their marriages, service members and first responders may struggle most with balancing an approach that works well while serving with an approach that works well in their marriage. These careers do a great job training service members and first responders to approach their duties with a logical, unemotional, and deeply practical mindset. This is extremely effective in accomplishing their mission and completing their shifts. However, this approach does not work well in their marriages. Spouses of service members and first responders may find themselves approaching life the same way due to the need to keep life moving by themselves during long separations due to training and deployments, support a spouse on shift work, or the constant readiness needed knowing their spouse could get called out at a moment's notice. They often act as single parents. The struggle comes in trying to shift from a logical, unemotional, and practical mindset that is critical to life in these careers to being able to experience a meaningful and connected marriage.