Archive for the ‘military families’ Category

What are Dual Trauma Couples?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Rachel Dorman, MS & Heidi Radunovich, PhD

Traumatic events can have long lasting impacts on an individual, and military members returning from deployment could be coping with exposure to multiple traumatic events. Traumatic events can result in PTSD, anxiety, isolation, and depression. Nelson Goff and colleagues (2014) sought to not only learn more about military members coping with traumas but also what happens when their partners have experienced trauma as well.

The researchers specifically sought to learn more about dual trauma couples (DTC) and how having 2 partners coping with trauma impacts the relationship. The study involved 11 married couples, consisting of 11 male soldiers and their female partners (some of whom had a military background). In five of the couples, only the soldier was found to have experienced a high level of traumatic experiences (single trauma couples, or STC); in the other six couples, both members scored as having had a high level of traumatic experience (DTC). Participants had to be 18 years or older, in their relationship for a year or more, and reported no substance abuse or domestic violence during the initial screening. Participants were interviewed separately from their partner, and were also given written measures, which included the Traumatic Events Questionnaire (TEQ), the Purdue Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Scale – Revised, the Trauma Symptom Checklist-40, and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale.

The researchers found communication problems and trauma triggers to be unique themes to DTC as compared to STC. The researchers found that eleven of the twelve participants in this DTC category reported communication problems, such as not being open and sharing information and the avoidance of conversations related to traumatic events. Trauma related triggers, such as being startled by daily events, were identified by the researchers in nine of the twelve participants in the DTC category. Most of the STC participants described positive couple communication (e.g., staying connected while deployed, perspective taking, and being able to discuss issues openly).

The researchers recommend for clinicians working with military couples who have experienced trauma to evaluate for communication problems, trauma triggers, and issues with relationship roles and intimacy.  The researchers also highlight the importance of practitioners being more aware of DTC, and the fact that when both members of a couple are coping with trauma, this can add additional stress to a couple’s relationship. To learn more about how to help military members dealing with trauma check out our Resource Discovery on Trauma-informed Care , our previous blog on EFT for Couples Affected by Trauma, or our previous blog on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Prevalence and Effects on Couples.

Resource:

Nelson Goff, B., Irwin, L., Cox, M., Devine, S., Summers, K., & Schmitz, A. (2014). A qualitative study on single-trauma and dual-trauma military couples. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 6(3), p. 216 – 223. Doi: 10.1037/a0036697

 

LGB Military Personnel after the Repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

By Rachel Dorman, MS & Heidi Radunovich, PhD

While the creation of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy (DADT), made it legal for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals to serve in the military, it still restrained LGB military members from being able to engage in LGB relationships. With the repeal of DADT, LGB military members now can be open about their relationships without military repercussions. Yet, even with the repeal of DADT there are still risks LGB military members may face in having an open relationship (Johnson, Rosenstein, Buhrke & Haldeman, 2013).

Johnson, Rosenstein, Buhrke, and Haldeman (2013) explain that, due to the military’s historically unaccepting environment to LGB military personnel, there is a stigma that may remain. Such a stigma among military members may create an unwelcoming or hostile environment for those who do not have the same sexual orientation. The researchers explain there may be resistance, homophobia, prejudice, exclusion, and harassment that can flare up against LGB military members in the military environment. These could be legitimate concerns for LGB personnel, and therapists should be willing to listen to the client and follow his or her lead as far as comfort with disclosure. Such stressors, or concern about those potential stressors, could cause LGB military personnel to want continue to conceal their sexual orientation, which can affect their health and well-being. Furthermore, these stressors may result in decreased job satisfaction and commitment to the military, as well as other negative outcomes.

Johnson and colleagues (2013) recommend that mental health providers seek an awareness of the environment and stressors that LGB military members face. It is recommended that practitioners pursue cultural awareness by actively seeking to better understand the negative experiences and stigma clients may have encountered as a result of their sexual orientation, particularly in the military setting. It is also recommended that mental health providers create an environment of acceptance and support when assessing and treating a client. Finally, they stress that those mental health practitioners who do not feel adequately trained to provide care for LGB military personnel to provide appropriate referrals. When providing a referral, seek other mental health providers with an expertise in LGB affirmative treatment, LGB networks for professionals, and local LGB community resources. To learn more about LGB military personnel check out our webinar on “Needs and Supportive Strategies for Professionals Working with LGBT Military Families” or our previous blogs here:

Resources: 

Johnson, B., Rosenstein, J., Buhrke, R., & Haldeman, D. (2013). After “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”: Competent care of lesbian, gay and bisexual military personnel during the DOD policy transition. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 1-9. doi: 10.1037/a0033051

 

Caregiver Mini Series: 444 Days in the First Year (Part 5)

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Caregiver’s Final Moments with Service Member & the Advice She has for Professionals Communicating to Families during Grieving Process

iStock_000016563675Small“Please don’t leave me.”

I stood by my service member’s bed; my arms were wrapped tightly around him and my head was on his chest, just as I had done every other day before– but today was different though.

His room was quiet, with the exception of the nurse who would occasionally come into the room to monitor his heart rate. There was no talking, no questions, or any of the typical noises. I’m not sure how long I actually stood there, but I would have stood there forever if it meant he would eventually come home with me.

Tears quietly fell from my eyes and I squeezed him tighter as the reality of what was happening began to sink in.  The slower his breathing became, the tighter I held on hoping that the love I had for my service member, my husband, was somehow strong enough to miraculously heal his body. I stood there hoping that he would wake up and we would be a family again.  “Please,” I begged him, “Please don’t leave me.”

As I was gently pulled away from him I remember looking back over my shoulder to see him one last time, and with a piece of me missing, I walked out of his room for the last time.

Advice for Professionals and Family Caregivers

What happens when a wounded service member succumbs to their injuries?  As professional caregivers does your “job” stop?

In many ways I suppose it does, as there are specific agencies and programs in place for the families of our fallen that are filled with people who are willing to go above and beyond for our families during the transitioning and grieving process.

However, there are still ways to be part of this new process for the family members, should you have the opportunity.

It has been my experience both personally and professionally that families appreciate respect and acknowledgement.  Loosing a loved one is unbelievably hard, as well as exhausting.  In some cases, the mere presence of someone else beside them is all that is needed for an individual to feel comforted.

We do not always have to have the “right words” to say.  In fact, it was my experience that many words, or innocent “meant well” phrases made the hurt worse, and some were in fact down right disrespectful and almost unbearable.

Below is a list of common sayings that I heard following my service member’s death.  While the reasons I give as to why you should not say a certain phrase comes from my own personal experience and how it felt for me, I have heard many of these said to other families as well.  Admittedly, I too have been guilty of saying a couple of the phrases listed below, however it was not until I lost my service member that I realized how hurtful these comments could feel.

We are taught to make meaning through the use of language, and in many instances we rely on language to be the bridge between others and ourselves in creating our “New Normal.” But as most of us know, loosing a loved one is one of the hardest experiences we will ever face and I personally feel that learning to simply sit quietly with someone during their darkest hours of grief can sometimes convey a stronger message than any words could ever express. Silence speaks volumes.

The following statements are examples of what NOT to say to caregivers during the grieving process and my own personal response or thoughts to such comments.

What NOT to say to Military Caregivers during the Grieving Process

  1. “I’m so sorry, is there anything I can do?”
    •  Personal Thought: No, because what I wanted no one could give me, which was to have my service member back.
  1. “You are so young, you will find someone else.”
    • Personal Thought: As if my service member could simply be replaced. Regardless of age, loosing a loved one hurts.
  1. “Thank God your kids are so young, and won’t remember.”
    • Personal Thought: Hearing this hurts, even now.  My children do remember…a lot actually.  But because my children were so young there were so many firsts that we went through with out him, and so many still yet to be had.  Those words simply remind me of what we will never have.
  1. “Time heals all wounds.”
    • Personal Thought: Time healed nothing; I simply learned how to live without my service member. I redefined who I was as a person because every piece of me was forever changed. The wound is still very much there, and I am okay with that.
  1. “I know exactly how you feel.”
    • Personal Thought: No you do not, because you are not me.  Hearing this completely denies a person of their ability to grieve. Grief is unique and personal to everyone who experiences it. Everyone grieves differently regardless of shared relationships to the loved one who has passed. 

Missed the beginning of my series? Go to ‘The Phone Call’ to read the first installment of this caregiver series.


Tabitha_FamilyMeet Tabitha…

The caregiving mini-series, 444 Days in the First Year, was written by Tabitha McCoy. Tabitha is a contributor to the MFLN–Military Caregiving concentration team and is a former military caregiver to her husband, SGT Steve McCoy. In this mini-series, Tabitha shares her personal story of caregiving, loss, grieving, and transitioning, as well as insight and advice for both professionals and family caregivers as she recounts the 444 days following her husband’s injuries and then unfortunately his death in June 2008.

Tabitha holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and is currently a graduate student at Valdosta State University where she is pursuing her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on July 29, 2014.

July Caregiving Webinar: Identity Discrepancy & Implications for Practice

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Identity DiscrepancyThe Military Caregiving concentration will be hosting it’s FREE monthly professional development webinar at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, July 23rd on Caregiver Identity Discrepancy, presented by Rhonda J.V. Montgomery, Ph.D.

*No registration is required; simply go to https://learn.extension.org/events/1631 the day of the event to join. All interested participants are encouraged to attend.

Webinar Background

Participants will be introduced to the basic tenants of the Caregiver Identity Theory and implications for understanding the caregiving experience and its impact on military families. A centerpiece of this perspective is the assertion that the caregiving role is not a new role, but rather a transformation of an existing role. Participants will learn about three specific types of caregiver stress and identity discrepancy, which many caregivers experience as they take on this role. The implications of this perspective for strategically intervening to support caregivers will also be discussed.

Dr. Montgomery, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Tailored Care Enterprises, LLC will present a 60-minute webinar on the caregiver identity change theory. The caregiver theory helps us understand:

  • Sources of caregiver distress
  • Differences in the way that caregivers experience distress
  • Reasons that caregivers use or do not use services
  • Strategies for helping caregivers
  • Differences among caregivers in the types of support needed.

How to Join the Webinar

To connect to this webinar, go to Caregiver Identity Discrepancy the day of the event. Remember, no registration is required to join.

The webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense so you must install security certificates if you are not located on a military installation. Instructions for certificate installation can be found by clicking on DCO Adobe Certificate Installation.

For those who cannot connect to the Adobe site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream. You can connect to the Adobe webinars using iPhone, iPad, and Droid apps. Search for DCO Connect in the respective stores.


This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on July 16, 2014.

Marital Adjustment After Deployment

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

By Rachel Dorman, MS & Heidi Radunovich, PhD

Military members can face a number of challenges when reintegrating back into the family after deployment. Some challenges may include changes in previous roles and responsibilities in their marriage, finding their place among friends and family, and civilian activities that evoke wartime memories. Due to the stressful events, such as exposure to combat during deployment, reintegration can be more difficult for some. Foran, Wright, and Woods (2013) sought to learn more about how combat exposure impacts marital relationships among military members who recently returned from deployment.

The researchers examined how combat exposure, mental health symptoms, and aggression impacted service personnel’s intent to divorce or separate within nine months post-deployment. Participants included 194 married active duty personnel who had returned from a 15-month deployment to Iraq in 2007-2008. Participants took a survey on base four months post-deployment, and again nine months post-deployment. The survey contained measures for combat experiences, depressive symptoms, PTSD symptoms, intent to divorce or separate, relationship psychological aggression, general aggression, and marital distress. The researchers found that at four months post-deployment over one-third (37%) of service members reported marital problems. During the same time period, the researchers also found that over 43% of participants reported psychological aggression against their partner within the last month. Marital distress, relationship aggression, combat exposure, and PTSD symptoms related to re-experiencing events were all associated with higher intent to divorce or separate. Participants who reported high levels of marital distress and also experienced high levels of combat exposure were much more likely to report intent to divorce or separate nine months post-deployment than those who only had high levels of marital distress, or just combat exposure. This held true even when controlling for PTSD symptoms.

Practitioners who work with service members and their families should be aware that service members who have experienced high levels of combat are at particularly high risk for divorce or separation if they are already experiencing marital distress. This could be due to symptoms and behaviors that the service member is showing to the spouse, as well as their own challenges in handling stress. Because they are particularly vulnerable, it is recommended that married military service members who have experienced deployment participate in couple-based programs to reduce depressive symptoms and marital distress, and also to focus on education to reduce the stigma of seeking treatment when needed. For more information about military couples cans be found in the below blogs previously published by MFLN Family Development:

Resource:

Foran, H., Wright, K., & Wood, M. (2013). Do combat exposure and post-deployment mental health influence intent to divorce? Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 32(9), p. 917 – 938. doi: 10.1521/jscp.2013.32.9.917

This post was written by Rachel Dorman, M.S. and Heidi Radunovich, PhD. Both are member of the Family Development team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network here and on Facebook.

Making Positive Changes for Health and Finances

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
By Katie Stamper
Project Manager, Child and Family Learning NetworkeXtension-CFLN logo wReg - 2

Health and finances: two things that keep people up at night. Do I have enough money saved? Am I ready for retirement? How do I control my blood pressure? These worry-filled questions leave you wanting answers but where do you turn for credible answers and information? Worry no more! Dr. Barbara O’Neill from Rutgers University will explain the Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ initiative during a webinar on July 29, 2014 10 a.m. CT, and discuss 25 behavior changes that can improve an individual’s health and finances.

SSHW was developed because societal problems have been widely reported in recent years including an increasing incidence of diabetes, overweight, and obesity, low household savings, high household debt levels, and bankruptcy filings. The SSHW program includes 25 behavior change strategies that people can adopt to address these concerns. Each involves taking small positive steps that people can put into practice on a daily basis.

The webinar presentation is a joint collaboration between the Child and Family Learning Network and the Military Families Learning Network. This 90 minute webinar will be filled with research-based, credible information that can jumpstart your finances and health. Invest the time to attend so you can make the greatest investment of all—YOU!!! To access the webinar, please visit https://learn.extension.org/events/1625

Reference:

Small Steps to Health and Wealth™, NRAES-182, Retrieved from http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/

This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on July 9, 2014.

 

Goodbye AleX

Monday, July 7th, 2014

The eXtension Network Literacy Community of Practice (CoP) will no longer be tweeting using the @AleXNetLit twitter account.

In a blog post explaining AleX, we wrote:

“AleX NetLit is an experiment. She is a new tool for learning in the changing knowledge and communication landscape. Will she make an impact? We’re not sure, but we will keep trying to use new and innovative tools to help people understand and harness the power of online networks.”

After careful consideration, the CoP steering committee, with input from the broader community, decided that our use of AleX was not making a significant impact, and that our efforts would be better directed elsewhere.

Members of the Network Literacy CoP remain active on social networks and use the hashtag #netlit to signify posts of interest to the community. Please look for that hashtag, or visit our page https://www.rebelmouse.com/NetworkLiteracy/, where we aggregate #netlit posts from across social media sites.

Where we went wrong

While we firmly believe that using a persona to communicate and help focus our message via social media was a worthwhile endeavor, there are things we could have done better:

  • AleX was crafted to help us think about one of our target audiences – Military Families’ Service Professionals. However, we never gained traction with that particular audience, and are now working to help them get started in social media instead.
  • We rotated the responsibility of tweeting as AleX, but most of us simply channelled what we would normally tweet through her account. AleX never developed her own personality and lacked consistency in style and content.

We’re open to the possibility of using a persona when we feel it will help build engagement and communication with others. Any future use of a persona will be informed by the lessons we learned while tweeting as AleX.

 

Stephen Judd – UNH Cooperative Extension and Chair, Network Literacy CoP

Bob Bertsch - North Dakota State University Extension, frequent AleX contributor, and Engagement Coordinator, Network Literacy CoP

Peg Boyles - Network Literacy CoP member and frequent AleX contributor

 

This article (Goodbye AleX) was originally published Monday July 7, 2014 on the Military Families Learning Network blog, a part of eXtension.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Resource Discovery: Jackson Katz, PhD TedTalk

Monday, July 7th, 2014

By Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT

Today’s Resource Discovery features a Dr. Jackson Katz Ted.com video titled Violence against women—it’s a men’s issue. Katz considers himself an anti-sexism educator. He also is an  author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who focuses on the fields of gender violence prevention education and media literacy. Dr. Katz is a co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), which enlists men in the struggle to prevent men’s violence against women. In this video, Katz asserts:

“I’m going to share with you a paradigm-shifting perspective on the issues of gender violence – sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship abuse, sexual harassment, sexual abuse of children. That whole range of issues that I’ll refer to in shorthand as “gender violence issues,”they’ve been seen as women’s issues that some good men help out with, but I have a problem with that frame and I don’t accept it. I don’t see these as women’s issues that some good men help out with. In fact, I’m going to argue that these are men’s issues, first and foremost.”

Be sure to explore many of our past MFLN Family Development blog posts on gender violence and related issues. Here’s a list to get you started:

This post was written by Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT, Social Media Specialist. She works with other members of the Family Development team to support the development of military professionals working with families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network here and on Facebook/Twitter.

Veteran Reintegration

Monday, June 30th, 2014

By Rachel Dorman, MS & Heidi Radunovich, PhD

Reintegration to civilian life can be a difficult process for veterans returning from deployment. It is important for mental health care providers to be aware of the difficult process veterans may face during their transition back to civilian life and how to help veterans make a smooth transition. Koenig, Maguen, Monroy, Mayott, and Seal (2014) conducted a study on recently returned veterans to learn more about reintegration into civilian life.

The researchers sought to gain insight into veterans’ experiences transitioning from military to civilian life through interview-based qualitative research. The study included 31 veteran participants who had returned from deployment within two years of the study. The researchers collected data through a semi-structured interview with eligible participants. The researchers reported that none of the veterans returned home from deployment unchanged. Veterans reported difficulty transitioning back to a once familiar civilian life. Through the data collected, the researchers categorized veterans’ struggles of reintegration into three categories: intrapersonal, professional and education, or interpersonal. The researchers described veterans as having difficulty transitioning on an intrapersonal level when a veteran reported difficulty in a civilian life activity that evoked wartime deployment. For example, some participants reported difficulty driving as a civilian because they would catch themselves vigilantly scanning for potential IEDs on the road. The researchers also found veterans struggled with reintegration on a professional and educational level. The researchers reported that some veterans returning to their civilian profession or studies found the work to be dissatisfying and slow paced. The veterans also expressed difficulty transitioning from working in a close unit during deployment to a workplace with little camaraderie. The last category identified was interpersonal difficulties. The veterans reported that their physical separation, due to deployment, resulted in gaps in once familiar relationships. The researchers reported veterans felt their physical separation had caused emotional separation in once close relationships due to missing life events while deployed. Veterans reported struggling with isolation and reconnecting with prior relationships.

Practitioners are encouraged to help veterans integrate in all three categories to promote a smooth transition. The researchers provide a module of questions that can help practitioners facilitate healthy communication within all three domains, and stress the importance of helping veterans build coping strategies that will help foster growth through the reintegration process. For more information about helping veterans and their families after deployment visit some of MFLN’s previous blogs here and here. Also, check out this MFLN webinar: Understanding the Outdoor Recreation Restoration Program Leader as Caregiver in Returning Veterans!

Resource:

Koenig, C., Maguen, S., Monroy, J., Mayott, L., & Seal, K. (2014). Facilitating culture-centered communication between health care providers and veterans transitioning from military deployment to civilian life. Patient Education and Counseling, 95(3), p. 414 – 420. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2014.03.016

This post was written by Rachel Dorman, M.S. and Heidi Radunovich, PhD. Both are member of the Family Development team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network here and on Facebook.

 

Caregiver Mini Series: 444 Days in the First Year (Part 4)

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

“Mrs. McCoy?”… “Mrs. McCoy?”… “I know this is hard but we need to know.”

Even though his voice was soft, empathetic, and understanding, it echoed loudly through the tiny consultation room.  I remember feeling as though the walls were closing in around me and there was nowhere I could go. I was trapped.

‘How did they expect me to make this decision?’ So many different scenarios raced through my mind and our entire history together. The last seven years of my life replayed over and over again.  The day we met, our first kiss, our wedding day, the day our babies were born…over and over I replayed those moments in my mind. .

Softly the doctor says once again, “Mrs. McCoy, Ma’am we need to know your decision.”

A few days prior…

Just day’s ago we celebrated my husband’s 23rd birthday.  He was wide-awake and extremely alert.  He smiled as I walked into his room, and I remember feeling so lucky that I was able to share another day with him.

I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, but before he could answer the nurse spoke up and said, “a Dr. Pepper and a kiss”.  I looked down at my Soldier who had clearly already had this conversation with the nurse, and was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

Reality

I will never forget this day, as it was the last kiss he and I shared together, and one of the last days he was able to talk. This new life that he and I had come to know was once again about to quickly change.

As the weight of the world fell upon my shoulders, for the first time the thought of not sharing a future with my husband crossed my mind.  ‘How was I supposed to process all of these feelings? ‘How was I to make all of these decisions?’ ‘I can’t do this,’ I remember thinking.  Everything I once knew, everything I once depended on, my world, my life, and my future was beginning to unravel.

Advice for Professionals and Family Caregivers

As in most situations in life we will be required to make decisions.  Some decisions of course will be harder to make and some will need immediate action. But what do we do when family members are not prepared to address such decision-making?

In dire moments some may not have the ability to answer our questions as quickly as we would like, such was the case for me personally.  I could not quite pull my thoughts together quickly enough as I was flooded with emotions, questions of “what if”, the unknown of my future, and the memories of my past.

There are two key elements that I have learned during my time training to be a Marriage and Family Therapist that I believe transcends to the professional caregiving field and can be used in situations similar to my military caregiving experience. These elements include (1) pacing and (2) space.

  1. Pacing in its simplest form has to do with the rate at which you are speaking as well as asking questions. This constantly remains in my peripheral when I am with my clients and I do my best to remain cognizant of not only what I am saying but also how I am saying it.  I personally believe this includes my tone of voice, the rate at which I speak and perhaps even my facial and body expressions. Pacing in my opinion is invaluable to us as professional caregivers, especially during stressful situations. Remaining mindful of the rate at which we speak and the tone of our voice we have the ability to reduce at least a small amount of the stress and anxiety a family member may be having.
  1. Space and pacing of course go hand in hand and it is hard if not impossible to have one without the other.  For me personally I think of space as belonging to my client, it is theirs to use however they see fit. It is not my job to determine how much time my client may need to answer a question or finish a thought. As professional caregivers when a question is asked to the family and there is no response we have the choice to either immediately ask the question again, or allow the family some space to sit with question and at least attempt to think through the possibilities or potential outcomes. I am not implying that we allow family members an infinite amount of time, as I am aware that some decisions require immediate action.  What I am suggesting is that we remain mindful of their needs and sensitive to their situation. When our pacing is pressured or rushed and we constantly fire question after question wanting an immediate response we rob our clients of the space that is needed and potentially become yet another stressor for them.

Life is full of hard decisions, some of which we never imagined we would have to make.  For the families of wounded service members, life-altering decisions are made regularly.  As professional caregivers we do not have the ability to eliminate the decision making process, however we do have to the ability to offer comfort and reduce the anxiety surrounding the process if we remain mindful how we speak and the space we allow the family member to have during these difficult times.

Missed the beginning of my series? Go to The Phone Call to read the first installment of this caregiver series.


Tabitha_FamilyMeet Tabitha…

The caregiving mini-series, 444 Days in the First Year, was written by Tabitha McCoy. Tabitha is a contributor to the MFLN–Military Caregiving concentration team and is a former military caregiver to her husband, SGT Steve McCoy. In this mini-series, Tabitha shares her personal story of caregiving, loss, grieving, and transitioning, as well as insight and advice for both professionals and family caregivers as she recounts the 444 days following her husband’s injuries and then unfortunately his death in June 2008.

Tabitha holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and is currently a graduate student at Valdosta State University where she is pursuing her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.