The Practical Elements of the Group
The new psychotherapeutic groups will target combat veterans with PSTD of moderate severity aged between 18 and 50 years old. It has been estimated that up to 30% of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans are diagnosed with PTSD that prevents these people from effectively returning to life in the community (Reisman, 2016). PTSD is characterized by high comorbidity resulting in the development of severe psychological disorders and substance abuse.
Reisman (2016) adds that PTSD is associated with a high suicide rate among combat veterans. The link between PTSD and suicide ideation and attempts is specifically prevalent in young adults who were exposed to military trauma. Therefore, it is essential to assist combat veterans to help address their issues until they are affected by more serious health conditions that will be more difficult and expensive to address.
The group will be close since the population under consideration may be reluctant to share their experiences and emotions in a group where newcomers appear. Due to the same reason, the group will be homogeneous and consist of eight male veterans with the health condition mentioned above. The inclusion criteria of the members of the group will be age, current military-based PSTD, the absence of substance abuse issues, current sleep, or daily routine disturbances.
People diagnosed with severe psychological disorders and those who have substance abuse require specific long-term care, so they will be excluded (Wheeler, 2014). The sessions will take place in a local non-profit organization that provides services to veterans. One-hour sessions will be held twice a week, so the entire intervention will take a month. The schedules will be agreed before the sessions start so that the time could be convenient for all the members of the group.
Announcement of the Group
To inform the target population about the new psychotherapeutic group, it is possible to employ several methods, which will enable the leader of the group to reach a wider audience (Corey, 2015). First, several local veteran organizations and non-profits providing services to different groups (including combat veterans) will be addressed. The target population receiving care from these organizations will be sent emails containing the information related to the therapy.
Leaflets with the most relevant data concerning the new group will be distributed among the people visiting the organizations mentioned above. To facilitate the recruiting process, it can be beneficial to place some posters drawing people’s attention to the prevalence and comorbidity of PTSD, the most common methods to address this health issue, and the call to seek professional help. The staff of the organizations can also place the digital copies of these visuals (or even pictures of the posters) on their social media accounts, which will make the audience even wider.
Apart from considerable coverage, these announcement procedures will ensure certain confidentiality that is often needed for such vulnerable groups as veterans trying to cope with PTSD. According to Reisman (2016), addressing PTSD is still associated with stigma in American society so many people (especially males) prefer not to seek professional help. Those who will receive the emails or leaflets will be able to decide with no outside pressure. It is also noteworthy that the veterans who will respond to the invitation will be motivated to work hard on their problem, which is essential for their recovery.
Screening and Interviewing of Potential Members
Screening is the procedure critical for the successful participation of the selected clients as it ensures the exchange of relevant information between the leader and a potential member of the group (Wheeler, 2014). For this project, it can be beneficial to divide the process into two stages. First, potential participants will have a phone screening, which will enable the leader to estimate whether the possible client satisfies the inclusion criteria mentioned above. Secondly, the veteran will receive the information concerning the group and will make an informed decision as to his participation.
The leader will provide the basic data concerning the intervention including its aims, some procedures and rules, activities, and group members’ functions. These aspects will be addressed very briefly at this stage but will be explored in more detail during face-to-face interviews. The phone interview will last up to thirty minutes and will assist in identifying the people who would benefit from the intervention most of all. The leader of the group should also touch upon the potential clients’ expectations and goals. Veterans will be encouraged to ask any questions related to the group and associated therapy.
The second stage will involve a face-to-face interview that will last for approximately 45 minutes. The interview will be held in the facility where the intervention will be implemented. During this screening meeting, the leader will utilize the Group Selection Questionnaire (GSQ) and Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5) (Wheeler, 2014). The former tool will assist in identifying the overall readiness of a person to work in a psychotherapeutic group effectively.
The latter device is a conventional method to identify the presence and severity of PTSD. It is also important to identify the personality type of the potential group member so that the leader could predict veterans’ behavior.
The Function of the Group Members and the Group Leader
One of the primary functions of the group leader is to create the healing and accepting atmosphere that is necessary for veterans suffering from PTSD (Corey, 2015). The leader cannot simply focus on training certain skills as the environment is often crucial for the effectiveness of a therapeutic group. As mentioned above, PTSD remains untreated in many cases as veterans experience certain pressure since they are expected to remain strong and empowered.
During each session, the leader should make sure that all group members are encouraged and motivated to share their emotions, ideas, and concerns and work effectively on their issues. The creation of this kind of atmosphere will help group members to realize their function and collaborate effectively.
As far as group member function is concerned, their primary function is to interact with each other. They should be able to see the sessions as an opportunity to acquire certain skills as well as communicate with people who have similar issues (Corey, 2015).
Being an active participant who collaborates with peers and the leader enhances a group member’s chances to cope with their problem. The ability to communicate and interact with others is also instrumental in assisting veterans to re-integrate into society. The leader of the group should inform the group members about the benefits of active participation at the initial stages of the selection process. During screening interviews, the leader will describe this function and emphasize its exclusive role in their recovery.
Corey, G. (2015). Theory and practice of group counseling (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Reisman, M. (2016). PTSD treatment for veterans: What’s working, what’s new, and what’s next. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 41(10). Web.
Wheeler, K. (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.