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Suggestions From Books and Pamphlets for Veterans

From Courage After Fire:  In Courage After Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families, Armstrong, Best, and Domenici (2006) provide an entire book full of suggestions.  A few are shown below:

Strength based exercises:

  • Make a list of challenging experiences you’ve overcome in your life, and how you handle them
  • Do the same for difficult situations during the war
  • Make a lesson of moments of satisfaction, thrill, or humor during the war

Relaxation drills:

  • Smooth breathing
  • Imagining safety
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Simple outlets (what can I look at, listen to, smell, taste, touch and, think about that will make me feel more peace at this moment?)

Sleeping better:

  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Having a comfortable sleep environment
  • Using the bed only for sleep or sex
  • Having a wind-down routine before you go to bed
  • Not having food or drinks with caffeine (e.g., coffee, sodas, chocolate) within six hours of bedtime
  • Not using alcohol or drugs to help you fall asleep
  • Not having regular or extended use of over-the-counter or prescribed sleep aids
  • Regular exercise
  • Staying active

From Conflict Unraveled:  Fixing Problems at Work and in Families:  Although Conflict Unraveled is not specific to veterans or people with post-trauma effects, author Andra Medea provides an extensive list of tips for controlling “flooding,” that surge of adrenaline and other chemicals you get when your stress system is triggered. 

View Medea's Tips for Controlling Flooding

Suggestions for Getting Back in Balance:  This table is from Finding Balance After the War Zone, developed by Pamela Woll for the Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center and Human Priorities. 

View Common Responses to Combat Stress and
Suggestions for Getting Back in Balance

For additional suggestions, download the current version of the clinician's manual draft.


The material on all of the Clinical Pages is taken directly from the draft version of Finding Balance After the War Zone:  Considerations in the Treatment of Post-Deployment Stress Effects, a manual under development for the Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center and Human Priorities.  This draft is copyright © 2008, Pamela Woll.  Reprint permission is universally granted, but attribution is requested.
Click here for References and Other Resources.
Click here to link to a PDF file of the current version of the clinician’s manual draft.
Click here to link to a PDF file of the accompanying booklet for veterans.

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