Many military veterans experience a variety of mental health problems. Some are combat-related, others psychosocial, and yet others related to a loss of meaning and purpose in their lives when they shed their military lifestyle and identity. The purpose of this study was to design an intervention for recently returned veterans which would concurrently target the most common debilitating mental health and adjustment problems. Literature was extensively reviewed, as were related and empirically established interventions. A mindfulness and meaning-focused half-day workshop was then created. Additionally, a manual was developed to help licensed mental health professionals who work with veterans implement the mindfulness and meaning-focused intervention. This manual was reviewed by three evaluators: a U.S. veteran of recent wars, a mindfulness meditation expert, and a psychologist who has spent his entire career within the Veterans Health Administration. They all evaluated the manual based on ease and understandability for a facilitator, as well as fidelity to theory, and utility for actual veterans. Their feedback was incorporated into future directions of the workshop and manual, which included more explicitly incorporating emotion regulation strategies, being more intentional with ancillary activities (e.g. breaks), and lengthening the program over time in order to better establish group alliance and bonding. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Veterans -- Mental health; Mindfulness (Psychology); Social adjustment
Date of Award
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Harrell, Shelly P.;
Buch, Joshua, "Mindfulness, meaning-making, and resilience among recently returned veterans: development of a workshop and preliminary manual" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 1103.