Back to Top Skip to main content

Camp Pendleton group therapy provides a cornerstone for mental wellness

Image of Ian Beard U.S. Navy veteran Ian Beard, a psychiatric technician at the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program, Treatment Program Department, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, poses for a photo after discussing the benefits of group therapy on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, July 15, 2020. The group therapy classes that are provided promote better emotional health practices and resiliency in a safe and supportive environment. (U. S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kerstin Roberts)

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness | Coronavirus

Mental health is an essential component of overall wellness. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton understands this importance and knows that everyone deals with personal and professional hardships differently.

Group therapy has been offered on Camp Pendleton for roughly ten years to support operational readiness and community health. Strengthening mental resiliency, learning to better communicate with others, and building support systems are crucial to mission success. Group therapy is a great way to exercise these skills.

With the trials brought on by COVID-19, the number of people struggling with anxiety, isolation, and depression has increased. To assist those struggling aboard Camp Pendleton, the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program, Treatment Program Department (SARP TPD) offers more than seven different groups, which meet both virtually and in-house, to active duty and active reserve service members.

"It offers a format that individual therapy doesn't, which is to share your experiences with other people and learn from the experiences that other people have had," said U.S. Navy veteran Ian Beard, psychiatric technician, SAPR TDB, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. "Also, it helps you to know that you're not the only one experiencing these things."

Service members have a strong sense of mental resilience. Camp Pendleton understands that, even with a high amount of mental resiliency, at some point everyone needs help. Group therapy is a great way to strengthen mental resiliency before or after training and deployments. It is the cornerstone of recovery from many mental health challenges.

"Group therapy strengthens mental resiliency through the group's skills and supportive space to practice those skills. Like in our Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Skills Group, we teach the participants how your thoughts and feelings affect your actions," stated Claudia Baliscao the deputy department head of SAPR TDB, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. "Once an individual understands that concept, it builds mental resiliency; but it's more powerful in-group because everyone shares their experiences. This makes the application of the skills easier to learn because it shows everyone in the group where they can use those skills in their day to day lives."

The group therapy classes provided aboard Camp Pendleton promote better emotional health practices and resilience in a safe and supportive environment. It allows service members to use new and healthy ways of communicating. Fortunately, since group therapy can be hosted either virtually and or in large classrooms, social distancing can be maintained in sessions. During these sessions, the participants are encouraged to give and receive support.

"Group therapy made me more aware of how I react to certain situations, which in turn prepared me to deal with problems when they arose," said retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Sami Babaidhan. “The best thing I took away from group therapy was that it helped me connect with others in general. After getting to know everyone in my group, I realized I could trust them. That gave me more confidence to go to others when I was struggling."

Hearing others talk about their experiences helps reinforce the knowledge that you are not alone. Dealing with stressful situations can often start to feel isolating. In the current state of things, with social interaction limited, that feeling can be heightened.

"It was some of the best therapy I've had," said Sami. "For the simple purpose that for years I felt like it was just me with these problems. Seeing a group of my peers that are going through the same stuff and being able to openly talk about it was extremely valuable."

The bedrock of the Marine Corps community is the practice of looking out for those around you. This becomes harder to do when the trials of life begin to pile on. By strengthening mental resiliency, learning to better communicate with others, and building support systems through group therapy, Marines are better capable of serving both their brothers and sisters in arms as well as the communities around them.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity.  Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

DCOE Annual Report 2014

Report
7/16/2015

Annual Report for the Defense Center of Excellence - 2014

Recommended Content:

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy | Mental Health Care | Traumatic Brain Injury | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Suicide Prevention | DoD/VA Sharing Initiatives | Deployment Health

TBI Awareness: Memorial Box

Video
3/27/2015
Image of a memorial box.

US Army Sgt Fox explains how his memorial box has helped him heal and remember meaningful events and people in his life.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Mental Health Care

Dr. Heechin Chae on The Mystery of the Brain

Video
3/23/2015
Dr. Heechin Chae on The Mystery of the Brain

Traumatic brain injury expert, Dr. Heechin Chae speaks on the mystery of the brain.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury | Mental Health Care

DoD Instruction 6490.15: Integration of Behavioral Health Personnel (BHP) Services Into Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Primary Care and Other Primary Care Service Settings

Policy

This instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for attainment of inter-Service standards for developing, initiating, and maintaining adult behavioral health services in primary care.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.15
  • Date: 11/20/2014
  • Type: Instructions
  • Topics: Mental Health Care

Interagency Task Force on Military and Veterans Mental Health

Report
10/24/2014

On August 31, 2012, President Obama signed Executive Order 13625 directing the Departments of Defense (DoD), Veterans Affairs (VA), and Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with other federal agencies, to take steps to ensure that Veterans, Service members and their Families receive the mental health and substance use services and support they need.

Recommended Content:

DoD/VA Sharing Initiatives | Mental Health Care

DoD Instruction 6490.05: Maintenance of Psychological Health in Military Operations

Policy

This instruction establishes policy and assigns responsibilities in accordance with References (c), (d), and (e) for developing combat and operational stress control (COSC) programs within the Military Departments, the Combatant Commands, and joint Service operations.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.05
  • Date: 10/2/2013
  • Type: Instructions
  • Topics: Mental Health Care

DoD Instruction 6490.12: Mental Health Assessments for Service Members Deployed in Connection with a Contingency Operation

Policy

This instruction establishes the policy for person-to-person deployment mental health assessments for each member of the Military Services deployed in connection with a contingency operation according to Section 1074m of Title 10, United States Code (Reference (b)).

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.12
  • Date: 10/2/2013
  • Type: Instructions
  • Topics: Mental Health Care

Overview of the Integrated Mental Health Strategy

Presentation
8/19/2013

Overview of the Integrated Mental Health Strategy presented to the Defense Health Board

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness

DoD Instruction 6490.04: Mental Health Evaluations of Members of the Military Services

Policy

Reissues DoD Instruction 6490.4 (Reference (b)), establishing policy, assigning responsibilities, and prescribing procedures for the referral, evaluation, treatment, and medical and command management of Service members who may require assessment for mental health issues, psychiatric hospitalization, and risk of imminent or potential danger to self or others.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.04
  • Date: 4/3/2013
  • Type: Instructions
  • Topics: Mental Health Care

Update on DoD Mental Health Policies and Programs

Presentation
11/27/2012

Defense Health Board Update on DoD Mental Health Policies and Programs

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness

Management of Traumatic Brain Injury in Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Report
7/26/2012

Defense Health Board: Management of Traumatic Brain Injury in Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Recommended Content:

Deployment Health | Mental Health Care | Traumatic Brain Injury

Omega 3 Fats Physical and Mental Health Benefits

Presentation
11/14/2011

Omega 3 Fats Physical and Mental Health Benefits briefing presented to the Defense Health Board Nov. 14, 2011

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness | Nutrition

DoD Instruction 6490.08: Command Notification Requirements to Dispel Stigma in Providing Mental Health Care to Service Members

Policy

This instruction provides guidance for balance between patient confidentiality rights and the commander’s right to know for operation and risk management decisions.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.08
  • Date: 8/17/2011
  • Type: Instructions
  • Topics: Mental Health Care

DoD Psychotropic Medication Prescription Practices and Complementary Alternative Medicine Use

Report
6/1/2011

Defense Health Board: DoD Psychotropic Medication Prescription Practices and Complementary Alternative Medicine Use

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care

Psychiatric Medications and Complementary and Alternative Medical Treatments

Presentation
8/18/2010

Psychiatric Medications and Complementary and Alternative Medical Treatments briefing presented to the Defense Health Board Aug. 18, 2010

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness
<< < ... 21 22 23 24 25 > >> 
Showing results 346 - 360 Page 24 of 25

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.