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The Military Intake Interview

A Military Counseling Resource and Practice Guideline

Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D., LPC, DCMHS, CRC, CMCC

Introduction to the Military Intake Interview

            The intake interview is critical in understanding your service member or veterans’ current medical, physical, psychosocial, vocational, family, and socio-cultural status as it relates to their military service. Military-specific intake interview questions are one of the most effective means to assess a range of critical life-events as it relates to your clients’ military life. Most standardized diagnostic tools do not address military mental health, career development as the service member transitions to civilian life, family dynamics within the deployment cycle, and other critical elements in military life. Thus, competent CMCC’s use person-centered skills facilitating attending, listening, and empathic responding to build rapport and gain the circle of trust with their military clients.

Military Myths and Negative Stereotypes

A Military Counseling Resource and Practice Guideline

Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D., LPC, DCMHS, CRC, CMCC

INTRODUCTION

            Multiple myths, stereotypes, and stigma have existed throughout the centuries concerning military service members and veterans. Myths and stereotypes can be both negative and positive and many times are determined by the unique characteristics of each war and generation. Politics, DoD policies, and government programs also influence our attitudes and perceptions of active service members, veterans, and their family. Consequently, many medical and mental health professionals are influenced by these societal attitudes and beliefs about the military culture. It is paramount that military counseling and related professionals do not simply accept the Hollywood, electronic and print media’s version and portrayal of this unique culture. Thus, the intent of this Military Counseling Resource and Practice Guideline is to promote facts about the military culture and challenge the myths and negative stereotypes that hinder service members’ ability to live life optimally. There is an extensive list of myths, stereotypes, and stigma that is attributable to the military culture; too many to list. Indeed, there are long-term medical/physical, psychological, emotional, social, occupational, career, and spiritual consequences to living life under this cloud of stigma. Overall, negative stereotypes can affect individual providers’ behavior and the way in which programs and services are facilitated. It is critical that medical and mental health professionals are educated on the facts because they are pivotal in providing therapeutic engagements with active duty personnel, veterans, and family members.

Trauma and Spirituality in Military Counseling

A Military Counseling Resource and Practice Guideline

Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D., LPC, DCMHS, CRC, CMCC

Veteran Praying

 


INTRODUCTION

            Integrating spirituality within military counseling practice emerges as one of the most challenging, yet misunderstood areas in psychotherapy with active service members, veterans, veterans with disabilities, and family members. The search for personal meaning in the warfighter’s traumatic experience or the veteran’s chronic medical, physical, and mental health conditions are both an existential and spiritual pursuit (Stebnicki, 2016a). In Tick’s (2014) body of work on moral injury, he notes that “war healing requires a spiritual approach because war is Leviathan and trauma is a deep, devastating, and enduring soul wound” (p. 162). This Military Counseling Resource (MCR) offers guidelines for infusing spirituality into military counseling practice with intention of bringing about meaning to the service member and veterans’ experiences of trauma.

I fully enjoyed learning the contents of this course and feel it will be extremely useful when working with veterans of our armed forces.

Marek R Moldawsky
Licensed S. Psychologist / Southwest Psychological Services, llc
Having completed the Clinical Military Counselor Certificate program, I am honored and proud to endorse this training for those interested in providing counseling services to veterans, active duty personnel, and their loved ones. The CMCC program comprehensively covers veterans and disability (i.e., psychiatric disorders and physical disability), effective counseling strategies, elements of skillful interviewing during the intake process, and cultural aspects of the military. Although the CMCC program focuses on the unique challenges faced by the three aforementioned groups, your skillset as a current and/or future practitioner will be significantly enhanced after successful completion of the training. Having reviewed other military counseling certificate programs, this is by far one of the best available!
Noel Ysasi
President – American Rehabilitation Counseling Association, United States Navy Veteran / Northern Illinois University
The CMCC course offers helpful information to better prepare counselors and clinicians to work with military personnel and veterans regardless of work setting. The information provided is relevant and considers the holistic needs of military personnel. I highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to know more about this group of individuals and professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge and understanding.
Dr. Susan Stuntzner PhD, LPC, LMHP, CRC, NCC, BC-TMH
Director of Disabiity Services / Adjunct Faculty / Southwestern Oregon Community College / University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

I first learned of the Clinical Military Counselor Certificate (CMCC) program during my first semester enrolled as a graduate student in the rehabilitation counseling program at Northern Illinois University. As a result of the training, I was able to gain further insight into the United States military culture, the impact trauma can have the service member, veteran, and family, and the methods for working with clients who face an array of challenges such as transitioning into civilian life post-military discharge. In addition, Dr. Stebnicki provides an array of resources that will undoubtedly prove useful post-graduation, but has aided me during my current graduate studies. My professors have oftentimes provided high praise in my ability to offer a deeper level of understanding on the issues discussed in class (i.e., psychosocial aspects of disability and counseling skills) and thankfully, continues to carry over in my other courses. Lastly, I was recently interviewed for practicum and internship by a highly competitive agency which has a high volume of veteran clientele, and was I accepted as a result of my CMCC certificate! Thank you Dr. Stebnicki for providing this outstanding and practical course!

Alison Murphy
Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Student / Northern Illinois University

Excellent course. Great content and resources. Very well organized. Thank you for developing such an outstanding resource to better serve the military population.

Jenny Wagstaff
Assistant Professor / Campbell University

As a professional counselor and leader in several professional associations, the CCMC program has been a tremendous asset to my personal knowledge and skills. Dr. Stebnicki is a visionary in how to translate the unique military culture into sound, evidence-based principles that can be easily applied by counselors and other mental health providers. His passion, commitment to ethical and evidence-based practice, and engaging style makes the CCMC training and credential a must have for all mental health providers.

Eric T. Beeson, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS, CRC
President Elect of the American Mental Health Counseling Association / The Family Institute at Northwestern University, Core Faculty

Dr. Stebnicki has created an excellent certification program rich with the necessary information needed to provide effective and ethical services to military-affiliated populations. The information provided moves substantially beyond the more obvious basic military cultural norms to include the subtle aspects of military culture and experience that are so important when both providing services to military populations and when educating counselors-in-training about military clinical issues.

Thomas I. Watson, EdD, LPC, NCC, CPCS
Assistant Professor – Counseling President – Military & Government Counseling Association (MGCA) – 2017-2019 / Military & Government Counseling Association (MGCA)

My name is William Herbert Butler. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in North Carolina. I have been counseling combat veterans and their families with the federal government since 2006. I have had the privilege to co-facilitate multiple presentations of the CMCC course with Mark Stebnicki over the past 3 years to counseling professionals. I am a retired United States Marine of 30 years and a 10-month tour of duty in Iraq in 2005. I believe this course is a valuable source of insight for professionals not familiar with the military community.

William Herbert Butler, LPC
Retired Marine GySgt / Vet Center Greenville, NC