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This online, participative event will be held on Zoom, and has been organised by the Veterans and the Armed Forces Community Special Interest Group (SIG). For more details on the SIG please see here.A certificate of attendance will be issued for 4 x hours CPD. The event will not be recorded.Registration closes - Midday on Tuesday 19th March. Places are limited though so book early to avoid disappointment.
Understanding the combat experience of veterans may be
very difficult to comprehend for some. However, understanding military culture,
ethos, values, sense of belonging and transition to civilian life, can be
successfully explored by following a timeline approach and recognising the
intense emotional human journey undertaken when entering such a unique
environment. This event will explore different aspects of the experience of
veterans transitioning into and out of the armed forces communities and will use
psychological models and evidence as a framework to understand common
difficulties of members of the armed forces community.
Despite advances in our understanding of mental health
issues among military forces, a large proportion of military personnel continue
to exhibit deployment-related psychological issues. Recent work has identified
symptoms of guilt and shame related to moral injury as contributing
significantly to combat-related mental health issues. (Nazarov A, Jetly R,
McNeely H, Kiang M, Lanius R, McKinnon MC).
This event will help practitioners to consider the
experience of military training and the values and beliefs that are fostered
through this which may affect the armed forces community’s engagement with
therapy and services. Although not a homogenous group, veterans in general have
a difficult relationship with seeking help and trust within therapy. Understanding
of the experience which leads to such rules and beliefs will help CBT
practitioners to recognise and explore such themes within their practice.
As a result of a survey that Dorset NHS Talking
Therapies service conducted through their veteran’s lead, one theme that
emerged in terms of what therapists would like to feel more confident with was
shame and guilt within PTSD or 'moral injury'. Kevin Meares will be sharing CBT
specific clinical knowledge and his own experiences of working with this in the
The armed forces community consists of a range of people of
all backgrounds, reference will be made to military ethos and military values
and the impact of those upon people who have had the 'alternative experience',
examples of which are contained in the recent report by Lord Etherton.
- Understand how military culture and values leads to themes
of beliefs and rules for living within the armed forces community
- Understand the impact of this experience on those who may
have felt excluded or bullied due to protective characteristics
- Improve understanding of working with shame and guilt
within PTSD contrasted with fear
Nick Wood (MSc FHEA) - Armed Forces and Uniformed Services
ManagerNick served in the Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm) and saw active
service during the Falklands War in 1982. He served 25 years in HM Prison
Service and was awarded the Butler Trust HRH Princess Royal Award (2010) for
services to Veterans after creating the Veterans in Custody Support model which
he still supports with staff training to this day. He joined YSJU in 2012 and
played a significant role in YSJU gaining the MOD ERS Gold Award in 2021.
Nick has provided the Military Human CPD for HMPPS, NHS Op
Courage (Veterans mental health services), NHS Trusts, MOD, Office for Veterans
Affairs, Military Charities and Local Authorities with 5000 staff having
received the training since 2012. In 2018, he was nominated by Forces in Mind
Trust (FIMT) as their Soldiering On Awards (SOA) candidate and is now a judge
on the SOA panel.
Recently, Nick contributed to the Office for Veterans
Affairs supporting veterans and families’ public awareness campaign. Other
ongoing projects include working with the MOD Defence Transition Services (DTS)
to explore delivery of a pre-discharge emotional adjustment briefing,
supporting NHS Op Courage teams, developing an online digital Military Human
CPD and continuing support for HMPPS CFO. He has briefed the Government APPG
Armed Forces group, NHS Armed Forces patient voice group and NHS England Armed
Forces senior exec board.
Nick has an extensive research and impact report portfolio
with recent international interest due to the person-centred approach which can
be applied to other militaries outside of the UK.Mick Fleming - Armed Forces and Uniformed Services OfficerMick served in the British Army (Royal Signals), completing
operational tours in Iraq (1991), Bosnia (1998), Iraq (2003) and finally in
Afghanistan (2010) before retiring from service in 2014. His career, spanning
over 34 years, included periods of service with both Airborne Forces and
Commando Forces, and it was these experiences that shaped the direction he took
in his career, focussing on the training and development of teams and
individuals. Experience complimented by Post Graduate qualifications in Strategic
Leadership and Management, and Executive Coaching and Mentoring.
Since retirement from the armed forces, Mick has worked as a
manager, trainer, and coach, within North Yorkshire Police, the private, and
3rd sectors. Most recently working for a national military charity as the
Recovery College Delivery Manager within the Personnel Recovery Centre in
Mick continues to directly support the veterans’ community,
alongside his work at YSJU, as a facilitator and coach within the Help for
Heroes Pathfinder programme, helping wounded, injured or sick veterans learn
more about themselves as well as identifying opportunities that exist for the
After an extremely successful career in the armed forces,
Mick has first-hand experience of the process of transitioning and resettlement
and understands fully the tremendous challenges that navigating this chapter in
life can present.
Kevin MearesIn the second half of our event Kevin Meares focusses on
working on shame and guilt within PTSD amongst the armed forces community.
Kevin is a consultant clinical psychologist. He completed
his doctoral training in clinical psychology in 1997 and his Diploma in
cognitive therapy in 2000. He worked within a specialist tertiary level CBT
Centre for 21 years where he developed a special interest in PTSD and trauma.
More recently he worked in staff wellbeing. Kevin is an experienced supervisor
and trainer. Together with Professor Mark Freeston he co-authored the self-help
book Overcoming Worry and Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
Kevin is an accredited BABCP trainer, supervisor, and
therapist. He is also an EMDR Consultant and is part-trained in
mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.
Pav TaylorWe are also joined by Pav Taylor, a peer supporter and
facilitator with Help for Heroes recovery college. Pav will be sharing his own
lived experience of service, injury, discharge, and mental health in this
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