Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jumping and Bar Tending

She has completed ten jumps in the process of becoming a paratrooper. She has a BA in psychology and plans to use her military benefits to pay for graduate school. She is supplementing her income working during the weekend. And she is depressed. Unlike my clients back in LA we can't talk about solving the stresses of this job by figuring out a conversation with her supervisor.

The culture of work in the military is you do the job you signed on and don't ask questions. My assignment is to help her accept that that's the way the Army operates. What can I say to her to help ease this emotional pain? We talked about simple tasks: breathing, stretching AND NOT drinking.

After five days on this Army base I have attended four briefings where alcohol use was discussed and the troops were given directions for recognizing signs of abuse. Substance abuse is always a risk. While I am not certain how many of my ideas will be useful, I do know that she found enough support in our conversation that she is meeting with me again.

Keep Breathing!

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