The Truth About the Walking Wounded and Military Social Work

by Marisa Bordowitz

Military social workers have vital role…. what does it entail?

a) assisting veterans in their recovery from the traumas of warfare, b) developing and conferring about military procedures that abate psychosocial havoc while maximizing wellness and, c) executing programs curtailing the odds of psychosocial issues including domestic violence, drug abuse or mental illness.

…and those are just a few of their many undertakings ! (Daley, 2003, pg. 437-438)giphy-1.gif

PTSD among veterans is very common. Thus, social workers  implement cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT encourages mindfulness. It allows the veteran (or any victim of trauma) to accept their ordeal. CBT can be used for chronic pain as well (and chronic pain CBT is applicable to treatment of PTSD). CBT also introduces relaxation techniques and alternatives to ameliorating stress and intensity.  (Connie Sturgeon, LCSW-R, 2016)


Social workers often advocate for yoga and healthy eating habits. Certain foods can trigger PTSD symptoms like insomnia, for example.  (Connie Sturgeon, LCSW-R, 2016)


Normalizing behavior is an enormous tactic. It’s imperative veterans know what they’re experiencing normal. Often they feel “crazy”. Using the strengths perspective can be beneficial, acknowledging the contribution veterans have made to their country (and commending them on their valor)  (Connie Sturgeon, LCSW-R, 2016


Veterans aren’t the only sufferers. Spouses of veterans are subject to secondary PTSD. Marriages crumble due to abandonment issues and night terrors of their partner.  Spouses tire of protecting their children. They feel their lives have been altered for the worse. They often become isolated (as their husband does not wish to leave the house for he fears for his own safety). (Connie Sturgeon, LCSW-R, 2016)


Daley, James G. (2003). Military social work: A multi-country comparison.International Social Work, 46(4), 437-448

Sturgeon , C. LCSW-R. (2016)

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