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    Psychotherapy In The Nigerian Armed Forces: Promoting Resilience Among Military Personnel And Their Families

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    Psychotherapy In The Nigerian Armed Forces: Promoting Resilience Among Military Personnel And Their Families

    Abstract

    The Nigerian Armed Forces involved in military operations against Boko Haram insurgency
    and terrorism in the North East, Nigeria have not developed formalized strategies aimed at
    promoting the mental health and well-being of its personnel and their families.
    Unfortunately, protracted exposure to insurgency attacks and the military counter actions
    undertaken to contain these attacks have placed great stresses on the military personnel and
    their families who have already been challenged by the frequent deployments and absences
    of their spouses from home. These stresses are often presented in the form of social and
    emotional problems amongst children at home and in school. The wives of service personnel
    on the other hand are most vulnerable to depression and other psychological consequences
    of insurgency attacks as they take on more family responsibilities due to the death or
    physical and psychological incapacitation of their husbands. The personnel on their part
    face other physical and mental health issues such as traumatic experiences, physical injuries,
    depression, aggression, etc. Despite all these issues, the Nigerian Armed Forces have not put
    in place measures to ensure the provision of psychotherapeutic treatment thereby building
    and strengthening resilience for the personnel and their families. Psychotherapeutic
    interventions which concentrate on changing the ideologies of individuals, helping them
    resolve psychological issues and rehabilitation will ensure sound mental health and wellbeing
    for the military personnel and their families. It is in this regard that the study examined
    psychotherapy in the Nigerian Armed Forces for the purpose of developing resilience
    strategies among military personnel and their families

    Author:

    Philemon A. Agashua,

    Department of Psychology,

    Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna

    philagash@gmail.com

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    The Application of Psychotherapy in the Nigerian Armed Forces

    The Application of Psychotherapy in the Nigerian Armed Forces

    Abstract

    The military personnel whose duty is to undertake operational duties are often exposed to trauma and stress; and some develop psychological distress as a result. The burden of mental health distress related to military occupational life is substantial as some military personnel and families flourish while others are not able to cope. Overtime, deployed military personnel and families become psychologically dysfunctional as a result of trauma and acute stress syndrome which result to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and emotional burn-out. Although, little attempt has been made to assess and meet the mental health needs of the military community holistically. This negligence is costly considering that the psychological health of the military family has been found to be directly related to the readiness, well-being and retention of service members. More so, the impact of negative attachment reactions on the cognitive development of children as a result of separations related to military deployment and postings have been observed. But at the moment, the government and NGO’s have focused mainly on the physical welfare needs of the wounded military personnel only, while the mental wellbeing of their families who are victims of counter-insurgency operations have been overlooked. The study therefore examined the application of psychotherapy in the Nigerian Armed Forces. The researchers also discussed common psychotherapeutic techniques relevant to the treatment of military personnel and families with the need to adopt a preventive approach to mental health promotion.

    Authors: Philemon A. Agashua, Jonathan I. Ugese, Funke T. Olofin

    Department of Psychology Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna

    Email: philagash@gmail.com Mobile number: +23408057972305

     

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