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For Tennessee social workers, healthcare and social service providers, students and faculty serving populations that include U.S. veterans and/or their families.

The College of Social Work hosted a series of eight presentations on Military Social Work during the 2013-2014 academic year. The presentations were filmed before a live audience and are being offered online to provide a breadth of training for social workers who are privileged to serve our veterans, military personnel, and their families. Below is a list of the topics, the speaker for each topic, and some information on each speaker and the presentation:

  1. Introduction to Military Culture
    Ken Murray LCSW, ACSW, MSW, MHA, BSN, Maj. US Army (Retired, deceased)

    Cultural competence has long been regarded as necessary to effective treatment. There can be no doubt that military families exist in a culture of their own, that shapes their language, values, norms, and traditions. These impact their worldview and shape their experience. This presentation focuses on select nuances unique to military families.

    Ken Murray was a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) from Clarksville, Tennessee. He was a doctoral candidate with both practice and research interests in the issues faced by military families. As a 20-year military veteran with multiple combat tours, Ken was often asked to train other clinicians on the nuances of serving military families. In addition to private practice, Ken also worked with various other agencies to remain abreast of current trends in his community and worked routinely with various universities. Ken had specialized training in treating addictions, anxiety disorders including PTSD, crisis intervention, marital issues, domestic abuse, and personality disorders.

  2. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) & Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Treatment
    Michael McGhee MD, Psychiatrist, BC, Major US Army

    Sometimes called invisible wounds, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are conditions that are common among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Michael McGhee, MD is the former Medical Director of the Behavior Health Center at Clarksville, and the CEO of Psychiatric Consultants of Tennessee, a locally owned outpatient mental health clinic in Clarksville Tennessee.

    During twenty-one years of military duty, he has served as the Chief of the Neuropsychological Service, Director of the Sleep Lab, Chief for the Department of Behavioral Health and Clinical Consultant for the Alcohol and Drug Unit at Fort Campbell, KY. While serving as the division psychiatrist for the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Dr. McGhee was deployed to Kosovo (Operation Enduring Freedom) and twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Dr. McGhee's vast knowledge and military experience covers Combat Stress Related Disorders, PTSD, and numerous mental health problems related to war and trauma. His presentation includes:

    • The diagnostic criteria of PTSD and TBI
    • Differences between PTSD and TBI
    • Mechanism of action for TBI
    • Treatment modalities for TBI and PTSD
    • How both TBI and PTSD affect families
    • Long term ramifications for non-treatment of each

  3. Military Social Work
    First Lieutenant (1LT) Joshua Davis, LCSWA and Maria Carrier, LCSW

    This presentation addresses the practice of Military Social Work and how social work looks within this unique culture. A dichotomy exists as a Military Social Worker practices within a military community answerable to both the Commander and Clients.

    1LT Joshua Davis received his MSW from Fayetteville State University. He is currently involved with the Military Social Work Internship Program (SWIP) where he is receiving clinical supervision towards his independent licensure. He presently holds an LMSW from Texas and a LCSWA from North Carolina.

    Maria Carrier is the Chief of the Family Advocacy Program. She has worked within the Department of the Army for over twenty years as a civilian social worker. She has a LCSW from Georgia.

  4. Domestic Violence & Substance Abuse
    Jessica McConville and Maria Carrier, LCSW

    The military community has specific processes to assist soldiers and family members who are at risk or who have had an incident involving domestic abuse and/or substance use. The purpose of this workshop is to provide an overview of those processes including any mandatory training in place to assist in prevention of risky behaviors.

    At the time of this presentation, Jessica McConville was in her concentraion year (evidence-based interpersonal practice) for her MSSW at the UT College of Social Work. Ms. McConville had been accepted for licensure in Maryland pending completion of her studies. She was completing her placement at the Family Advocacy Program, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Fort Campbell Kentucky. This placement exposed her to how domestic abuse issues are handled within the military community including prevention, assessment and treatment. Ms. McConville is a military family member and has moved 18 times in her lifetime.

    Maria Carrier is the Chief of the Family Advocacy Program. She has worked within the Department of the Army for over twenty years as a civilian social worker. She has a LCSW from Georgia.

  5. Military Kids
    Rebecca Townsend, SLPE, LPC

    Today's military children and families experience unique hardships. They move around the country and the world repeatedly, and they must therefore adjust to new living environments, schools, and peer groups much more often than other children and families do. They live through repeated cycles of stressful separation and reunion. And they must cope with the possibility, and sometimes the reality, that a parent will die in combat or come home with serious and permanent health problems and disabilities. Though we certainly need to understand military life's negative effects on children, this workshop will also examine the strengths of military children and how their strengths sustain them through adversity.

    Rebecca Townsend is a Senior Licensed Psychological Examiner, Licensed Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor and a TN Supreme Court Rule 31 Family Mediator. She has been dedicated to the emotional well-being and growth of adults, adolescents, couples and families for over 15 years. She has extensive training and experience working with military service members and their families. She was in the first class of graduates to receive a Post-Masters certificate in Military & Veteran Behavioral Health through the Department of Defense's Center for Deployment Psychology.

    Rebecca's passion of caring for our nation's service members and their loved ones prompted her to found SAFE: Soldiers and Families Embraced in 2007, a non-profit organization that provides service members, veterans, and their loved ones free and confidential mental health services from licensed professionals.

    With her professional training and practical experiences of working directly with service members and veterans, Rebecca trains other mental health professionals, educators, law enforcement, and community members in military culture and military mental health care. She developed a small company, Stand In Their Boots, LLC, to offer such training experiences to the greater community.

  6. Resiliency and Reintegration Issues
    Rebecca Townsend, SLPE, LPC

    Reintegration as a family after military deployment is not always easy, nor is it something that happens naturally. Because reintegration is a process, not an event, it requires time and effort, as well as an understanding of change for all parties during the separation. The reunion and reintegration can be surprisingly stressful and sometimes painfully disappointing. While resiliency is a cumulative skill, promoting resiliency in military families has shown to assist in smoother and more cohesive reintegration.

    This presentation will discuss the foundational factors of resiliency, how to promote resiliency in soldiers, family members and couples. Secondly, we will discuss difficulties in the process of reintegration and how to guide military families on this journey. The presentation will include:

    • Understanding resilience in military families
      • What is resilience
      • How do we promote resilience
      • Risk and resiliency factors reviewed
    • Reintegration process following military deployments
      • Reintegration as a process, not an event
      • Preparing for reintegration
      • Re-establishing roles and connection
  7. Combat Stress/Combat Trauma/Treatment
    Robert Campbell, LCSW BCD, Colonel, USAF, BSC (Retired)

    The current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq represent America's longest continuous combat engagement. We are now challenged with a military that is exhibiting the stress-related consequences of these long and multiple combat deployments and a rapidly growing veteran population in need of a wide range of combat- related physical and mental health care services. Every community in the United States has been affected, and service delivery systems are trying to respond. There is an urgent need to understand and engage with military service members, veterans, their families, and their communities in effective practices that address combat stress, trauma and treatment.

    After 22 years of active duty service in the United States Air Force, Colonel Rob Campbell joined the Department of Veterans Affairs, VISN 9, in July 2011 as the Deputy Mental Health Manager. In this role, Col Campbell supports the delivery of inpatient, residential and outpatient mental health programs for Veterans at six medical centers and 38 Community Based Outpatient Clinics, primarily in Tennessee, Kentucky and southern West Virginia.

    Col Campbell is a 1981 graduate of Carson-Newman University and he received his Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983. During his military career, Col Campbell held a variety of positions, to include Mental Health Chief, Squadron Commander, Social Work Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General and Chief, Accessions, Assignments and Training for Air Force Allied Health Professions. He also deployed in 1996 to Operation PROVIDE PROMISE, 74th Expeditionary Medical Group, Zagreb, Croatia, and again in 2008 to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM as Chief, Mental Health Services, Balad Air Base, Iraq. Prior to his Air Force career, Col Campbell was employed by the states of Virginia and Tennessee for six years in community mental health clinics.

  8. Spouses of America's Military
    Lisa Gray, LCSW PhD candidate

    Military spouses are the glue that holds the military family together. They maintain balance within the family and when their well-being is compromised, the entire family system is affected. Spouses have numerous physical and emotional demands placed on them during periods of both deployment and non-deployment that are not shared by children and service members. Depression, anxiety, and secondary traumatic stress are among some of the risk factors faced by the military spouse population. It is important that social work practitioners have a comprehensive understanding of spouses unique circumstances in order to effectively meet the needs of military families.

    Lisa A. Gray holds a LCSW in Texas and is a PhD Candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her dissertation focus is on the well-being of military spouses. She expected to complete her doctorate in the early Spring of 2015. Lisa is a military spouse and a former military child dependent who has wide-ranging practice experience working within and around the military community. She has presented at national conferences on the mental health needs of military service members and their families and has taught MSW courses focusing on trauma and interpersonal violence within the military community. She is currently employed as a Military Family Life Counselor (MFLC) at Fort Campbell, KY.

    Her presentation includes:

    • Overview of the needs and stressors of military spouses
    • Understudied & at-risk subgroups of spouses
    • Risk & protective factors
    • Best practices & interventions
    • Resources & initiative to support military spouses