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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Center for Deployment Psychology Offers 2-Week Mental Health Provider Course

If you are an active duty, reserve or civilian behavioral health professional (or an intern, resident or other professional in training), you may be interested in attending one of The Center for Deployment Psychology's upcoming 2-week intensive programs.

Classes take place at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. 2008 workshops: January 7-18, March 10-21, May 12-23


The 2-week intensive course covers topics in areas identified by military mental health professionals as particularly key to the care of service members and their families.

1. Deployment 101: examines the deployment cycle with attention to the unique culture, expectations and experience of military deployment including the reintegration with family and community upon return.

2. Trauma and Resilience: addresses issues of psychological trauma and resilience particular to the experience of combat deployment. This section also includes information pertaining to the assessment and treatment of PTSD and other problematic responses to trauma.

3. Behavioral Health Care of the Seriously Medically Injured: participants are introduced to issues that arise when providing behavioral health care to individuals suffering from serious medical injuries and traumatic brain injury.

4. Deployment and Families: explores the unique impact of military deployment on family members including children.

Limited to 30 participants, the program is free (civilians must pay for their own travel and expenses, while active duty and reserve component personnel may have their travel and per diem expenses covered). Download a registration form if interested in attending, and/or take a peek at course resources.

In educational interest, article(s) quoted from extensively.

More on the program via the APA:

As the number and duration of military deployments increase, so do the mental and behavioral health difficulties of service members and their families. To better meet the deployment-related mental and behavioral health needs of service members and their families, the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP), an innovative Department of Defense psychology training consortium, has been established. The CDP is a tri-service Center funded by Congress, under the leadership of Congressman C.W. Bill Young.

The purpose of the Center is to train military and civilian psychologists, psychology interns/residents, and other behavioral health professionals to provide high quality deployment-related mental and behavioral health services to military personnel and their families.

Development of the Nationwide Organization

Designed in a "hub-and-spoke" framework, the CDP is headquartered at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland with Deployment Behavioral Health Psychologists (DBHPs) located at each of the ten Military Medical Centers that house APA-accredited Psychology Internship programs. Following a planning conference held in the Spring of 2006, the Center initiated activities in August when David Riggs, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert in posttraumatic stress disorder, was hired as Executive Director.

Additional faculty members were hired soon after and the initial development of training materials began in September, 2006. In November of 2006, the CDP Headquarters staff occupied their permanent offices at the USUHS and plans to hold the inaugural training course in January, 2007 were finalized.

Innovative Training programs for Mental Health Professionals

The Center aims to accomplish its primary mission of training mental health professionals through a series of innovative education and training programs, training and consultation with existing military training programs and community outreach.

The core of the CDP training efforts is a 2-week long intensive training course that will be held four to six times per year at the USUHS, training approximately 25 professionals at each session. This will allow for highly specialized training of 100 to 150 mental and behavioral health professionals each year. The first of these training courses was conducted between January 8 and January 19, 2007.

Through a blend of lectures and experiential modules, participants who attend this course, titled Topics in Deployment Psychology, will have the opportunity to learn about the cycle of military deployment, the experiences of service members and families, and current research findings.

Participants have the opportunity to learn from military and civilian experts in the fields of trauma, physical medicine, neuropsychology, and military medicine, as well as hearing directly from military mental and behavioral health professionals who share their own experiences of the challenges and rewards of providing care in forward operating areas. The course presents information on current approaches to deployment medicine and mental health as well as the latest research finding on the long-term impact of military deployment on mental and behavioral health, including the incidence and prevalence of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Participants learn empirically validated approaches for assessing and treating PTSD, including a one-day introduction to Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy which has been found very effective in treating PTSD. Further, because mental health professionals are called upon to provide care to severely injured military personnel including amputees and those suffering brain injuries, attendees to the course will learn to treat these challenging cases from internationally recognized clinicians and researchers in the areas of traumatic brain injury and amputee care.

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