The Application of Psychotherapy in the Nigerian Armed Forces

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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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