Chaplains play vital role in psychotherapy.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Psychotherapy (Methods)
Psychotherapy (Health aspects)
Chaplains, Military (Psychological aspects)
Chaplains, Military (Services)
Pub Date: 12/22/2008
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Winter, 2008 Source Volume: 11 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 360 Services information
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 192800774

A military chaplain may not be the first thing that comes to mind when most think of psychotherapy. Nevertheless, these mental and spiritual health providers are working day in and day out in an attempt to talk out life's frustrations with their clients--in this case, the clients are military personnel.

Henry Beaulieu, a Montgomery, Alabama, pastor and chaplain, spent a year in Baghdad with a National Guard unit. In an article in the Montgomery Advertiser, he tells of the stories and the soldiers he met with who were struggling with their experiences of trauma and loss. Similar to everyday civilians, some handle these experiences well, and others react in ways that interfere with their ability to perform daily tasks and live normal lives.

"Sometimes you have somebody bang on your door at 2 in the morning because his buddy is back in the dorm having a recurring nightmare because one of his buddies got killed or blown up," Beaulieu said.

Military chaplains are present at all times with the troops, participating in fitness training and other skills to prepare them for deployment. The chaplains accompany the soldiers to provide spiritual care not only with combat-related trauma, but also the stress of relationships, loneliness, and boredom.

For more information on the role of chaplains or to learn more about APA's Academy Certified Chaplain program, please visit

Rowell, J. (2008, October 13). Chaplains use 'ministry of presence.' Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from article?AID=/20081013/NEWS01/810130304 Dating Violence in Men Linked to Troubled Early Years

MCT Illustration by Rob Hernandez/San Jose Mercury News
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