Service members leaving the military are faced with a myriad of challenges as they transition back to civilian life, including loss of financial resources, career, and sometimes physical and psychological wounds from military service. Often overlooked, however, is the construct of identity loss and how leaving the military, either voluntarily or involuntarily, impacts these aforementioned variables and one’s sense of self and purpose. This is especially true for our nation’s elite Special Operations Forces. Special operators are mission-driven and possess highly distinct character traits that allow them to perform effectively and efficiently under significant amounts of prolonged physical and psychological stress. Therefore, when considering post-military adjustment, it is critical to consider the cultural and contextual factors that impact these transitions. This critical analysis and problem conceptualization reviews existing literature on identity development through the lenses of Erik Erikson, Daniel Levinson, and George Vaillant, three prominent theorists on identity, and discusses various contextual factors that influence the transition process including military culture, loss of camaraderie, and the impact of physical and psychological wounds. Further, this dissertation proposes an interpretive framework to help psychologists and other mental health professionals provide culturally competent care for this unique population of the military and proposes a model to better understand disruptive transitions. Directions for future research are also discussed.
|School:||The Chicago School of Professional Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, Military studies|
|Keywords:||Identity development, Identity loss, Military culture, Special operations, Suicide, Veteran|
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