Insights, Experiences, and Strategies for Working with Military Families around Child Resilience

 By Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT

On Thursday, July 13, Dr. Catherine Mogil provided an enlightening and insightful webinar for us on exploring resilience in Military Children.

Below are a few of the key takeaways that our participants shared they obtained through their participation in this webinar.

  • The study showing findings that anxiety levels in children were higher after the return of the service member (from deployment)
    Look at slide 23 of the PowerPoint for more information on this interesting finding. Also, take a look at the graph on slide 42  showing the types of anxiety displayed throughout the deployment spiral (see next point).
  • Deployments can be viewed as a spiral
    There is an illustration of this spiral on slide 20 of the PowerPoint. Catherine states, ” National Military Family Association says it’s (deployment) not really a cycle; you don’t enter the next deployment the same way you entered the deployment before. You are now changed.”
  • Children of ALL ages and developmental stages show different emotions relating to the deployment of their parents
    “Children at different ages may experience different reactions to trauma or stress and express those in different ways”, according to Catherine. She provides more detail on this in slides 12 through 16, providing examples of behaviors at different ages and developmental stages.
  • FOCUS Family Resilience Training
    The FOCUS model is an 8-module preventive intervention; working with parents only initially, then the children only, meeting with the parents alone again, and then bringing the family back together for the sessions. This model “provides resilience training to military children and families. It teaches practical skills to help families overcome common challenges related to a parents’ military service, to communicate and solve problems effectively, and to successfully set goals together and create a shared family story”. To find out more, click here.
  • The statistics for deployed families are high
    A statistic from slide number 11 on the PowerPoint states that approximately 225,000 military children have a parent currently deployed. Additional statistics show that there are 1.9 million military children; 68% are younger than 11, 19,000 have had a parent injured, and 2,200 have lost a parent.
  • There is a Veteran Family Wellness Center
    “It [The UCLA-VA Family Resource and Well-Being Center] is intended to become a national model for veteran families and women veterans, offering a one-stop portal for access to specialized family resilience, social work, legal, education, parenting skills, and other services.” Read more about this here.

 

There were many other takeaways that our participants shared after the webinar’s conclusion and we encourage all of you to watch the archived version to gather your own key takeaways. If you are a Licensed Social Worker, Family Therapist, or Professional Counselor, we offer 1.5 Free CEUs for this webinar. You can find out more information on how to obtain those CEUs here.

This post was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT, the Social Media and Programming Coordination Specialist for the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development concentration on our websiteFacebook, and Twitter.

 

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