MRE Guidelines for Practice
Spirituality, Moral Injury, and Trauma in Military Life
Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D., LCMHC, DMHCS, CRC, CMCC
There is a growing body of literature in military psychology, moral injury, and trauma which suggests a strong association between having good spiritual well-being and military resiliency and readiness (Doehring, 2019; Smith-MacDonald et al., 2017). Extraordinary stressful and traumatic events in military life have long-term implications for service members’ and veterans’ mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. There are many experiences in warfighting that service members and veterans will never disclose to others outside their units or as reflected in after-action reports. Exposure to frequent killing of enemy combatants, the threat of being attacked, killed, or captured, witnessing death and injury, and handling the injured and dead bodies of unit members, civilians, and enemy combatants change the military service member in a profound psychological way.
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.
Materials Ready to Explore (MRE) Practice Guidelines
Societal Myths, Stereotypes, and Stigma of the Military Culture
Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D., LCMHC, DCMHS, CRC, CMCC
The purpose of this MRE is to examine some of the more prevalent societal and clinical counseling myths, perceptions, and attitudes regarding the military culture. It is well documented that negative attitudes and perceptions impact the service members’ and veterans’ motivation for seeking medical and mental health treatment. Cultural myths and stereotypes regarding the military community can be both negative and positive. Some individuals in American society as well as clinical counselors attribute the characteristics and traits of military service members and veterans as possessing a high level of courage, honor, loyalty, confidence, toughness, and resiliency. Others in society may portray the military culture as possessing the potential to act in violence, have low impulse control, or be burdened with poor mental and physical health conditions (Ahern et al., 2015; Currier, McDermott, & McCormick, 2017; Quartana et al., 2014; Vogt, et al., 2014).