Clinical Services for Veterans & Families
The Fairleigh Dickinson University Center for Psychological Services has provided expert specialized confidential psychological evaluation and psychotherapy to Veterans of war and their family members since 1983. Since that time we have provided services to more than 300 war veterans of WWII, Vietnam, Korea, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq, and we can provide these services to family members of veterans regardless of whether the veteran him or herself seeks help. We work with veterans and families representing every branch of the military, and with Active Duty, Guard and Reserves.
Services for Veterans & Families
Therapy and Counseling
Many vets need help with readjustment difficulties associated with the transition from military to civilian life or from war to home including loss of social support and camaraderie, reintegration into family life, managing unstructured time, personal goal-setting, and re-establishing priorities. More significant readjustment issues we see routinely include pronounced marital difficulties and/or other interpersonal challenges with children, peers, and extended family; grief and loss; depression; anxiety; anger management; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and cognitive and behavioral issues related to mild traumatic brain injury. Recognizing that deployment affects the whole family, we treat children affected by a parent’s deployment or return home, and we see spouses who are struggling with deployment-related issues; we can see them alone or for couples’ therapy along with the veteran partner.
Parent Management Training
Parent Management Training (PMT) provides evidence-based intervention to parents of children and adolescents who are exhibiting oppositional, aggressive, and/or antisocial behaviors. Given the impact that parental deployment has on family functioning, the marital relationship, previously established parenting roles and the children’s emotional well-being, PMT is uniquely suited to meet the needs of veterans and their families when children are “acting out” their distress related to a parent’s deployment.
Comprehensive Learning Evaluations
Combining our Center’s expertise and experience in the areas of veterans’ mental health and neuro-psychological assessment of Adult Learning Disabilities and ADHD, we are able to offer specialized Comprehensive Learning Evaluations, neuro-psychological assessments of learning, attention, concentration, memory, social and emotional difficulties, in veterans experiencing academic problems. These evaluations are well suited to help student-veterans that have long-standing (and possibly never-diagnosed) learning difficulties, as well as those who discover new learning challenges after returning home from war.
Depression in Veterans and their Family Members
Depression is a very common mental health concern – it is a medical problem, not a character flaw or sign of weakness. Veterans of war, as well as their family members, may be at increased risk for the development of depression due to a number of factors. Symptoms of depression include loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities; low or sad mood; excessive sleep or difficulty sleeping; increased or decreased appetite; irritability, restlessness, frustration or agitation; crying spells; feelings of guilt, self-blame, hopelessness or worthlessness; reduced sex drive; physical symptoms that are not otherwise explained (i.e. headaches, back pain); fatigue; difficulty with attention, concentration and decision-making; thoughts of suicide; and being “slowed down” in thinking, moving, or speaking.
Some veterans seem to experience depression as a “funk” they just can’t get out of. Others describe feeling like they have lost some essential and familiar part of themselves. Some simply feel unable to feel good or invested in anything or anyone. For many people depression occurs with other mental health problems such as substance abuse or anxiety. Depression, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), frequent or intense anger, excessive use of substances, and family discord can commonly occur together for veterans. Depression for some may be felt as irritability or anger as much, or even more, than feelings of sadness. Family members of war veterans may become depressed in response to the ongoing difficulties that their veteran family member is experiencing, or as a result of the challenges associated with the deployment cycle with its multiple transitions and its impact on family and interpersonal functioning.
The good news is that depression is treatable with a variety of effective interventions, and people who receive appropriate treatment generally feel much better. The first step is to recognize the symptoms and explore available treatment options with a qualified trained health provider. Take our ANONYMOUS online depression screen and learn how veterans and family members of Active Duty, Guard and Reserve may each experience unique stressors that can contribute to the development of symptoms of depression.
Many Services Available at No Cost
As a supplemental provider for New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs the Center is able to provide services free of charge to many NJ combat veterans and family members for any deployment-related difficulties. Generous awards from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies also provide funding that allows us to provide help to veterans and/or their families at no charge.
All services are strictly confidential.