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For Clinicians

Information for Returning Veterans Clinical Pages prepared by
Pam Woll, Great Lakes ATTC

Finding Balance Cover ImageNote:  Content of the Clinical Pages of this web site is also included in Finding Balance:  Considerations in the Treatment of Post-deployment Stress Effects.  This clinicians' guide is part of the Finding Balance series of materials, which also includes a workbook and "quick guide" pocket booklet for service members and veterans, a workbook for military families, and a set of instructions for facilitators (clinicians, mentors, or trainers) working with the workbooks.

Welcome to the Clinical Pages of the Returning Veterans section of the National ATTC Network web site. These pages are by no means comprehensive, but they do contain a little information on each of many topics that are critical to the safe and effective treatment of returning veterans who have substance use disorders (SUD), post-deployment stress effects, and/or other related challenges (e.g., depression, anxiety).

Because of the breadth of information presented in these pages, you will find only the main section links in the navigation bar on the left. Within each section, you will be guided through additional pages in the order and flow they are intended.

The eight sections you will explore in this section are:

  1. Clinical Considerations
  2. Resilience and Vulnerability to Traumatic Stress
  3. Service Members’ Experiences at War
  4. Post-Deployment Stress Effects
  5. Preparing to Work With Veterans
  6. Important Considerations in Treatment Delivery
  7. Choosing Treatment Practices
  8. Ideas for Recovery, Re-Balancing, and Self-Care
REMEMBER: If you begin to feel lost within these sections, you can always find the home section using the links on the left.

These sections and their sub-pages are designed primarily for SUD clinicians, but much of the information in them is also relevant to recovery support staff and volunteers, and to professionals and paraprofessionals in any helping field that serves returning veterans who have post-deployment stress effects.

Veterans and their families may also be interested in some of the sections.  For example, the pages on Resilience and Vulnerability to Traumatic Stress give an overview of the human stress and survival system—how it keeps us alive and in balance, how it develops in infancy, and how it sometimes gets off balance in its attempts to save our lives.

Information about the brain and the other players in the stress/survival system is then woven into each of the sections that follow, to give a clearer understanding that the engine that runs post-deployment stress effects—up to and including posttraumatic stress disorder and SUDs—is truly physical.  These are not emotional problems, though they do intensify the normal emotions that human beings have.  The section on Post-Deployment Stress Effects gives a little information on many common effects of combat stress, and ties it all in with the body’s stress and survival responses.

The most important section for veterans and families is the final one, Ideas for Recovery, Re-Balancing, and Self-Care.  This is just a beginning collection of ideas from a number of sources.  We hope to expand this section as time and information become available, and add a section on families.  And the other sections of the Returning Veterans pages also provide important information and links for veterans and families, as well as clinicians.

As so many veterans and the people who serve and support them have learned, even veterans with serious post-combat stress effects have the strength within them to get their stress systems back in balance.  They need information, training, and support, and in many cases the help of trained professionals.  With enough information, veterans and their families can make informed choices about counseling, medication, and all the things they can do by themselves or with their families and communities to get back in balance. 

The content of these Clinical Pages is also available in PDF Form, as a preliminary draft of a new manual that is part of a series under development for the Great Lakes ATTC and Human Priorities.  That series also includes a booklet for veterans and a brochure

Get Started with Clinical Considerations

The material on all of the Clinical Pages is taken directly from the clinicians' manual Finding Balance:  Considerations in the Treatment of Post-deployment Stress Effects, published by the Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center and Human Priorities.  This manual is copyright © 2008, Pamela Woll.  Reprint permission is universally granted, but attribution is requested. Click here for References and Other Resources.
Click the following links for PDFs of materials in the Finding Balance series:   Clinicians' Guide <> Workbook for Service Members and Veterans <> Quick Guide for Service Members and Veterans <> Workbook for Military Families <> Suggestions for Facilitators (Counselors, Trainers, Mentors) using the workbooks

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