Systematic Approach to Military Families

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2.1 Introduction to Unit 2
Unit 2 | Systemic Approach to Military Families
In this unit we will review theories of family stress and explore risk and resilience factors as these pertain to military families. We will also provide an overview of family systems perspectives that will include the family life cycle, a brief overview of family therapy approaches (which should be a review from your foundation practice class), and family assessment and engagement techniques. During our live session, we will explore the use of a military-specific genogram and apply it to a veteran family case study. Students are required to view the video Tools and Techniques for Family Therapy. Although it is not based on one particular family therapy model, the tools are practical and can be used with a variety of families, including application to military families. 2.2 Readings

Required Reading
Everson, R. B., & Camp, T. G. (2011). Seeing systems: An introduction to systemic approaches with military families. In R. B. Everson & C. R. Figley (Eds.), Families under fire: Systemic therapy with military families (pp. 3-29). New York, NY: Routledge. Sherman, M. D. (2003). The SAFE program: A family psychoeducational curriculum developed in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34(1), 42-48. Weiss, E. L., Coll, J. E., Gebauer, J., Smiley, K., & Carrillo, E. (2010). The military genogram: A solution-focused approach for resiliency building in service members and their families. Family Journal, 18, 395-406. Recommended Reading

Calhoun, L. G., & Tedeschi, R. G. (Eds.). (2006). Handbook of post traumatic growth: Research and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Gottman, J. M., Gottman, J. S., & Atkins, C. L. (2011). The comprehensive soldier fitness program: Family skills component. American Psychologist, 66, 52-57. Knox, J., & Price, D. H. (1999). Total force and the new American military family: Implications for social work practice. Families in Society, 80, 128-136. Kotria, K., & Dyer, P. (2008). Using marriage education to strengthen military families: Evaluation of the active military life skills program. Social Work and Christianity, 35(3), 287-311. Nichols, M. P. (2007). The essentials of family therapy (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Pearson. pp. 56-80

Rapp, C. A., Sallebey, D., & Sullivan, W. P. (2005). The future of strengths-based social work. Advances in Social Work, 6(1), 79-90. Saleebey, D. (Ed.). (2008). Strengths perspectives in social work practice (5th ed.). New York, NY: Longman. Walsh, F. (2003). Family resilience: A framework for clinical practice. Family Process, 42(1), 1-18. Wiens, T. W., & Boss, P. (2006). Maintaining family resilience before, during and after military separation. Military Life: The Psychology of Serving in Peace and Combat, 3, 13-38. 2.3 Risk and Resilience Factors in Military Families, Part I Models of Stress

Family stress and adaptation theories are based on the notion that excessive demands on a family cause disruption in family functioning, and whether the disruption is considered severe depends on situational appraisals and utilization of resources. Reuben Hill's Post-World War II (1949) Family Stress Model, ABC-X * A = stressful event

* B = family resources/strengths
* C = family's perception of the event
* X = degree to which family will enter into a crisis
McCubbin and Patterson's (1982) Double ABC-X Model
* Double A = accumulation of stressful events
* Double B = where families must draw upon new resources or coping skills * Double C = family's interpretation of events
* Double X = post-crisis adaptation
Demands of Military Family Life
The multiple demands and stressors of military family life:
* Multiple deployments
* Nowadays, often back-to-back and lengthy
* Deployment to war zones
* Unprecedented use of total force—including National Guard and Reserves * Strain on...
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