Serving abroad can be emotionally stressful for soldiers who are separated from their families for months at a time. Trauma endured in combat can make the situation worse and potentially cause an individual to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now, a theology teacher has developed a new strategy to help soldiers cope involving their beliefs.
Carrie Doehring, an associate professor of pastoral care at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, believes that religion may be able to keep many soldiers stable while on active duty. She has helped create a one-year program for the Air Force where chaplains can tap into their spiritual side to cope with anxiety, according to the Associated Press.
Doehring told the news source that it is the only program of its kind. One student has already graduated from the program, and four people are currently enrolled. Air Force Chaplain, Dallas Little, is the lone graduate. He told the AP that the program is especially helpful for individuals who are attempting to cope with trauma.
More than 7 million Americans suffer from PTSD every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Counseling may be able to help veterans who have endured a large amount of trauma.