COU MV555 - Trauma Theory and Treatment with Emphasis on Military and Veteran Populations

(Credits: 3)

In a military culture that valorizes physical and mental toughness, courageous action in the face of extreme danger, and vigilance against physical or emotional vulnerability, the emotional trauma incurred by service members and veterans presents unique challenges to behavioral health professionals.  To promote students’ understanding of the emotional, behavioral, and moral impact of war, this course begins with a review of historical conceptualizations of trauma in both military and civilian contexts. Next, students are oriented broadly to scientific research relating to trauma and its effects, with a special emphasis on the complexities of post-traumatic stress in the military and veteran populations.  In the second half of the course, students examine concerns that arise in the assessment of trauma with veterans, review empirically supported PTSD treatment methods, and consider case studies applicable to treating both military and civilian trauma.  Throughout the course, students build awareness of the risks of vicarious or secondary traumatization when working closely with trauma survivors, and consider how professional helpers mitigate this danger through practices of self-care and self-compassion.