Q:

How do you practice psychology in the military?

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Quick Answer

Practicing psychology in the military consists of treating both active duty and retired military personnel afflicted with mental and emotional stress, disorders and illnesses. Every branch of the military employs psychologists to perform psychiatric evaluations, assess and treat mental and emotional disorders and provide counseling services. The military psychologist may also assist family members who suffer mental anguish caused by the loved one’s experience during military service.

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Psychologists perform mental health evaluations to help assure that only the healthiest, most productive and most stable men and women are recruited to serve their country. Since returning to civilian life can be traumatic for some, military psychologists are available to help veterans adjust to life after active duty to help ease their emotional turmoil. Studies show that certain types of mental and emotional disorders affect many military men and women. Battlefield experiences can seriously affect a soldier’s thoughts and actions.

Other common disorders include post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, grief, anxiety and sleep problems. Job titles for military psychologists include army mental health specialist, army psychologist, navy psychologist, marine psychologist or air force psychologist. Most military psychologists start with a bachelor’s degree in general psychology, clinical psychology, or counseling, and graduates move on to obtain advanced degrees in psychology, often at a military school where expenses are paid by the military.

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