Conceptualizing Service-Related Trauma: Controversies, Challenges, and Opportunities in the Canadian Context

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v55i2.70067

Abstract

This article considers three perspectives that have figured prominently in the conceptualization of psychological trauma related to military service in the Canadian context—that of military institutions, that of military members, and that of counselling psychologists. A closer examination of these views reveals points of contention regarding the origins, terminology, and cultural relevance of conceptualizations of service-related trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder By drawing from theoretical, empirical, critical, and anecdotal literature, this article highlights the need for counselling psychologists to continually evolve their understanding of the broader contexts in which service-related trauma occurs and to honour military members’ knowledge of diverse sources of traumatic suffering.

Author Biographies

Tiffany A. Beks, University of Calgary

Tiffany A. Beks, MSc, is a registered provisional psychologist in Alberta and a PhD candidate in counselling psychology in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Her research interests include socio-cultural contexts surrounding traumatic events encountered in military service and, more broadly, the phenomenon of institutional betrayal in social and health sectors.

Sharon L. Cairns, University of Calgary

Sharon L. Cairns is an associate professor emerita in educational psychology at the University of Calgary.

Anusha Kassan, University of Calgary

Anusha Kassan, PhD, RPsych, is an associate professor with a high-impact position in child and youth mental health in the school and applied child psychology program at the University of British Columbia. Her program of research is influenced by her own bicultural identity and is informed by a social justice lens. She is presently studying the impact of immigration across different communities. She is also conducting teaching and learning research and is investigating multicultural and social justice competencies in professional psychology.

Kelly D. Schwartz, University of Calgary

Kelly D. Schwartz, RPsych, is an associate professor in the school and applied child psychology program in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. His research and teaching interests include the psychosocial factors contributing to child, adolescent, and family development, particularly how developmental assets contribute to both risk and thriving in individual and social contexts. Dr. Schwartz is a full member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, and the Canadian Institute of Public Safety Personnel Research and Treatment.

Published

2021-07-20

How to Cite

Beks, T. A., Cairns, S. L., Kassan, A., & Schwartz, K. D. (2021). Conceptualizing Service-Related Trauma: Controversies, Challenges, and Opportunities in the Canadian Context. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 55(2). https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v55i2.70067

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Section

Articles/ Articles