Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Camp Pendleton group therapy provides a cornerstone for mental wellness

Image of Ian Beard U.S. Navy veteran Ian Beard, a psychiatric technician at the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program, Treatment Program Department, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, poses for a photo after discussing the benefits of group therapy on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, July 15, 2020. The group therapy classes that are provided promote better emotional health practices and resiliency in a safe and supportive environment. (U. S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kerstin Roberts)

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Coronavirus

Mental health is an essential component of overall wellness. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton understands this importance and knows that everyone deals with personal and professional hardships differently.

Group therapy has been offered on Camp Pendleton for roughly ten years to support operational readiness and community health. Strengthening mental resiliency, learning to better communicate with others, and building support systems are crucial to mission success. Group therapy is a great way to exercise these skills.

With the trials brought on by COVID-19, the number of people struggling with anxiety, isolation, and depression has increased. To assist those struggling aboard Camp Pendleton, the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program, Treatment Program Department (SARP TPD) offers more than seven different groups, which meet both virtually and in-house, to active duty and active reserve service members.

"It offers a format that individual therapy doesn't, which is to share your experiences with other people and learn from the experiences that other people have had," said U.S. Navy veteran Ian Beard, psychiatric technician, SAPR TDB, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. "Also, it helps you to know that you're not the only one experiencing these things."

Service members have a strong sense of mental resilience. Camp Pendleton understands that, even with a high amount of mental resiliency, at some point everyone needs help. Group therapy is a great way to strengthen mental resiliency before or after training and deployments. It is the cornerstone of recovery from many mental health challenges.

"Group therapy strengthens mental resiliency through the group's skills and supportive space to practice those skills. Like in our Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Skills Group, we teach the participants how your thoughts and feelings affect your actions," stated Claudia Baliscao the deputy department head of SAPR TDB, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. "Once an individual understands that concept, it builds mental resiliency; but it's more powerful in-group because everyone shares their experiences. This makes the application of the skills easier to learn because it shows everyone in the group where they can use those skills in their day to day lives."

The group therapy classes provided aboard Camp Pendleton promote better emotional health practices and resilience in a safe and supportive environment. It allows service members to use new and healthy ways of communicating. Fortunately, since group therapy can be hosted either virtually and or in large classrooms, social distancing can be maintained in sessions. During these sessions, the participants are encouraged to give and receive support.

"Group therapy made me more aware of how I react to certain situations, which in turn prepared me to deal with problems when they arose," said retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Sami Babaidhan. “The best thing I took away from group therapy was that it helped me connect with others in general. After getting to know everyone in my group, I realized I could trust them. That gave me more confidence to go to others when I was struggling."

Hearing others talk about their experiences helps reinforce the knowledge that you are not alone. Dealing with stressful situations can often start to feel isolating. In the current state of things, with social interaction limited, that feeling can be heightened.

"It was some of the best therapy I've had," said Sami. "For the simple purpose that for years I felt like it was just me with these problems. Seeing a group of my peers that are going through the same stuff and being able to openly talk about it was extremely valuable."

The bedrock of the Marine Corps community is the practice of looking out for those around you. This becomes harder to do when the trials of life begin to pile on. By strengthening mental resiliency, learning to better communicate with others, and building support systems through group therapy, Marines are better capable of serving both their brothers and sisters in arms as well as the communities around them.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity.  Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Men’s health focus on the mental, physical & emotional health aspects

Article
6/8/2021
Military personnel during physical training

Screenings and regular check-ups help keep you mission ready.

Recommended Content:

Men's Health | Men's Health Month | Psychological Fitness

Army’s 773rd administers mobile COVID-19 testing during DEF21

Article
6/4/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks and lab coats, pose for a picture in an Albanian lab.

Approximately 800 Army Reserve soldiers from the U.S. and Europe participated in DEFENDER-Europe 21.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities

Mental Health Panel Discusses Impact of COVID-19

Article
6/3/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask speaking on a panel

Walter Reed Bethesda hosts mental health panel to discuss the impacts of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Mental Health Awareness Month | Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Based on data, MHS experts encourage vaccines for adolescents

Article
6/1/2021
Sister and brother smiling at each other

With the Pfizer vaccine approved for youth ages 12 to 15, MHS adolescents are lining up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Children's Health | Vaccine Eligibility

“Shots in arms” – OPT planned & coordinated to meet COVID-19 mission

Article
5/28/2021
Military personnel sitting around a table talking

The Department of Defense’s COVID-19 Operational Planning Team has been the quiet force behind the DOD’s vaccination effort since November.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting the first vaccine available to you. Don't hold out for a certain brand; they're all safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins encourages people who are breastfeeding to get the vaccine. Since the vaccine doesn't contain live virus, you can't pass COVID to your baby.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID. We're not sure how long natural immunity lasts, so getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

What is an mRNA vaccine?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains how mRNA vaccines work to protect you from COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains the years of research and ongoing monitoring to show how mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

COVID-19 Vaccination Card Second Shot

Infographic
5/27/2021
Graphic saying that keeping track of your vaccination card is important. Includes a helpful tips section, a link to www.tricare.mil/covidvaccine, and what to do when you didn’t get your vaccination card or don’t have a copy. The TRICARE logo is on the bottom right of the page.

Keep track of your vaccination card. Tips include keeping your card on you and taking a picture of it as a backup copy.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Costs and Documentation | Coronavirus

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Town Hall May 26 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Town Hall May 26 2021

RADM Anne Swap will discuss the National Capital Region's response to COVID-19

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | National Capital Region Market

COVID-19 Town Hall with RADM Anne M. Swap

Article
5/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource NCR COVID-19 Town Hall with Rear Admiral Anne M. Swap, Director, National Capital Medical Directorate, Wednesday, May 26 at 11:50 a.m. ET

The purpose of this event is to inform National Capital Region (NCR) beneficiaries of DHA’s efforts with battling coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage them to not delay care.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Adirim, Place laud DHA response to COVID-19 in briefing

Article
5/21/2021
Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place speaking at a press conference

Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, provided a COVID-19 update during a Pentagon press briefing.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 37

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.