International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience
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Most people experience recurrent stress and challenges throughout their lives. Many of the greatest pleasures and accomplishments
in life such as going to university, pursuing a career, getting married and having children are also challenges that can add
significant stress to our lives. A universal goal for most people is to remain resilient during these life challenges or to bounce back
and recover after suffering from significant adversity and sometimes even traumatic life events. This presentation will focus on
psychological resiliency and strategies to manage life stressors, enhance resiliency, and recover from trauma. Much of what has
been learned about psychological resiliency over the past decade has come from studies of trauma exposure and resiliency in
deployed military personnel. Since 9-11-2001, almost 3 million United States military personnel have deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan
and surrounding locations. Current estimates are that about 14% of returning veterans are at risk for posttraumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) and up to 30% for some type of behavioral health disorder. This presentation will focus on enhancing resiliency after combat
trauma exposure. The presentation will review evidence-based assessment and treatment approaches for PTSD and related conditions
and describe factors which may lead to enhanced resiliency and posttraumatic growth in military service members and veterans.
Examples will be used of military resiliency training and methods to facilitate recovery from posttraumatic stress. Applications for
civilians to survive in life's battlefields will also be provided.
Alan L Peterson is the Director of the STRONG STAR Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD. He is retired from the United States Air Force in 2005 after 21 years of active duty service including deployments in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He is currently an Endowed Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA. He has clinical and research expertise in the areas of behavioral medicine, psychological trauma and resiliency. He has published 7 books and over 150 scientific manuscripts and has given over 300 presentations at national and international meetings.