The military way of life has been a very special part of my life and the experience it bought with it certainly played its part in me becoming a counsellor. Having being married to a serving British soldier for many years and also having worked in a variety of roles in the UK and overseas it is fair to say I have plenty of experience regarding this unique way of life.
Having a son critically injured in Iraq gave me first hand experience of the devastation injury causes to those affected and their families. This was the news no mother wants to hear and it changed my life in many ways sending me on a quest for answers, wanting to know how other injured soldiers were treated, finding out about PTSD, doing everything I could to get an insight into the world of our wounded personnel. My son fortunately made a good recovery although he will always bear the physical and emotional scars of the experience he went through.
On my journey of discovery I secured a role supporting injured personnel who totally inspired me with their strength, courage and not forgetting their infamous `squaddie` humour which is an essential part of who they are, helping them to overcome adversity against all the odds. This part of my life inspired me and saw me take a career change and so the footings of my counselling journey began.
Life is fluid, constantly changing and no day is the same for anyone whether they are in the military or not. We all experience life and death situations, trauma, accidents, depression, injury, illness and so on. Any single one of these issues can be hard to bear, but imagine having to cope when you are hundreds of miles away from your loved ones, which is often the reality for military families. Separation whether being away on a training exercise or on a dangerous operational deployment brings all kinds of issues which can affect family life and relationships.
I believe my ability to combine my experience of military life with my counselling skills proves really beneficial when working with military families, it really does help to understand the military way of life, military jargon and the military system to enable me to fully understand my clients world and help them to explore their issues.
Listed below are some of the issues a military client may bring to counselling
- Separation, deployment/operational (Post and Pre-deployment)
- Injury, Trauma, Stress
- Relationship issues, family dynamics
- Loss and Bereavement
- Abuse and Domestic Violence
- Alcohol/Substance Abuse
- Transition from military to civilian life
- New to Army Life
- PTSD and other Mental Health Disorders