What is a Military Psychologist?

The Need for Military PsychologistsMilitary psychology

A military psychologist is one who works with members of the armed forces and their families to provide counseling services and mental health treatment. There are psychologists employed by all branches of the military in order to work with active duty personnel, as well as retired members, and their families. Military psychology is a branch of psychology that is much needed due to the particular stress factors enlisted men and women and their loved ones face.

Service people are owed a great deal of respect. They put their lives on the line in order to protect their nation. Extended military service can be incredibly stressful, for soldiers and the families who worry about them. Those who are involved in combat situations face a great deal of trauma and will likely deal with the emotional effects of that for a very long time. Loved ones also deal with the worry and sometimes grief that comes with loving a military member.

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Military psychologists are needed for a number of purposes. These specialists assess military members for certain positions to determine their mental and emotional suitability. They help military personnel to cope, deal with and manage the stress and emotional issues they may be enduring in order to improve the chances that the service men and women are emotionally healthy. Military psychologists can also help veterans deal with life after the military, to adjust to civilian life and to overcome any emotional issues associated with their time in the service.

What Military Psychologists Do

Depending on the specialty area, there are a number of duties that military psychologists may perform. Some may conduct research and perform diagnostic tests. Others may work directly with service people or their families to assist in the treatment of mental health and emotional issues.

Those conducting research may be studying a number of different things such as the best personality types for certain military positions, expected emotional outcomes to certain stressors or the best treatment for military related issues like post traumatic stress disorder. There are military psychologists who perform psychological assessments of recruits prior to enlisting to determine suitability for service and military career placement.

Professionals who focus on clinical and counseling matters will assess, diagnose and treat enlisted personnel who are dealing with emotional or mental issues. They help their clients to manage issues such as stress, depression and anxiety. They also help family members to deal with separation and provide grief counseling to those who have lost a loved one.

Work Conditions

Military psychologists work in a variety of settings that serve military personnel. Hospitals and military clinics are common workplaces, as are military bases. Those who work in research jobs may find themselves working in government research facilities. Sometimes psychologists may even travel with military troops.

As you can see, there is a great need for psychological professionals to work in military settings. A military psychologist is important to the well being and emotional health of our troops and their families.

Related Resources:

5 Career Settings for a Clinical Psychologist

American Military University

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