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19 Dec

Impact Spotlight: Operation Home and Healing

Council for Relationships’ Operation Home and Healing provides counseling and services for veterans, active service members, and their families. CFR’s specially trained therapists help veterans and their families to heal and become better partners, parents, and family members.

CFR has been involved in training and counseling veterans since post-WWII. At that time, the Navy became concerned with the problems sailors were experiencing after they returned home from the war. Thus, the Veterans Administration established neuropsychiatric residencies with Council for Relationships, and we became an integral part of their training. Operation Home and Healing (OHH), was created in 2007 to coordinate and direct CFR’s work with veterans. An external advisory group with experience in military culture and counseling guides OHH’s involvement with the veteran community.

OHH has three main components: counseling, psychoeducational programs for veterans, and training. The counseling component includes services to individuals, couples, and families from the military and veteran populations without any restrictions regarding the nature of their service or discharge. OHH provided therapy for 108 veterans and active military members in 2019. The veteran does not need to be receiving counseling services from us in order for his or her family members to receive services; 90 veteran family members received services this year. Services are provided on a sliding scale.

The second component is psychoeducational programs. OHH conducts educational programming around psychological issues of interest to veterans and family members who are clients of veteran service organizations in the Philadelphia region. The programming is tailored to the interests and needs of each agency.

The third component is training. CFR has made a commitment to training our clinicians and interns as well as other clinicians in the region in military culture and best practices. We have incorporated a required course on military culture into our post-graduate certificate in marriage and family therapy. In 2019, we trained 38 behavioral health professionals in military cultural competency. We regularly provide conferences and workshops on topics of interest to clinicians who treat members of the military and veteran community. In addition, we provide training in military culture for other professionals such as congregational clergy and staff in agencies that serve veterans.

CFR is an active member of the Delaware Valley Veterans Consortium.

If you are interested in supporting Operation Home and Healing, please make a donation here. To learn more about therapy for veterans and military families in Philadelphia, please email us at veterans@councilforrelationships.org.

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