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

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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

Description

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

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