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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Psychotherapists Who Will Likely Fail in Their Treatment of Soldiers Suffering From PTSD

1. Therapists possess varying society derived attitudes toward the military ranging from gratitude and respect to abhorrence and scorn. Those therapists holding the latter views would be unsuccessful.
2. Therapists who believe that veterans seeking treatment for PTSD do so primarily to gain compensation.
3. Therapists who hold the view that soldiers, rather than being patriotic, are blood-lusting savages who relish war and commit atrocities. This reflects an attempt to deny the reality that all humans are capable of savage aggressiveness and destruction.
4. Therapists who believe that soldiers suffering from PTSD were emotionally disturbed before developing this disorder, which is secondary to their basic psychological problems.
Holding negative attitudes toward soldiers and veterans suffering from PTSD enable the therapist to treat PTSD as an abstraction and thus avoid the intense emotional experience of identifying with the soldier’s pain. There may also be envy on the part of the therapist who, usually, has never experienced combat but wished that they had.

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