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Alan Peterson

Alan Peterson

University of Texas Health Science Center, USA

Title: Enhancing Resiliency after Combat Trauma Exposure

Biography

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.

Abstract

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 signifi cant stress to our lives. A universal goal for most people is to remain resilient during these life challenges or to bounce back and recover aft er suff ering from signifi cant adversity and sometimes even traumatic life events. Th is 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. Th is presentation will focus on enhancing resiliency aft er combat trauma exposure. Th e 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 battlefi elds will also be provided.