The problem of relationship violence among veterans (who fought in war) suffering from PTSD is a growing problem that is not given enough attention to in the therapeutic field. Couples with relationship violence present in their relationship can often go through a therapy intake without any symptoms present concerning abuse presence. Therefore, it is easy to miss vital information. When dealing with any couples who have a diagnosis of PTSD, especially veterans, it is important to examine the couples extensively.
Veterans who have fought in war have a hard time distancing themselves from the life they used to live, therefore, the increase in reactivity of psychological problems such as; anger, anxiety, and aggression are common.
“Veterans with PTSD, by virtue of their prior experience of life threat, are more likely to perceive threats in their environment, even in the absence of realistic threat. In response to these perceived threats, the veteran enters into a “survival mode,” characterized by heightened arousal and several cognitive biases, including a hostile appraisal of events, an inclination toward threat confirmation, increased vigilance in recognizing a threat, and a lower threshold for responding to the threat. These processes negatively impact the veteran's ability to regulate anger and engage in self-monitoring behaviors or other inhibitory processes, resulting in an increased propensity toward aggression (Taft, Street, Marshall, Dowdall, & Riggs, 2007).
More attention in the Therapeutic Field needs to be devoted to Veterans with PTSD who are perpetrators of abuse. As suggested by Sherman, Sautter, Jackson, Lyons, and Han (2007), depressed veterans mirrored the acts of veterans with PTSD, suggesting that the trend of violence amongst veterans is replicated, therefore, therapists need to be certain to address and examine symptoms of depression immediately. Also suggested by Sautter, et al., the relationship between veterans with PTSD and their partners determine the state and intensity of PTSD symptoms, therefore, a healthier relationship indicates fewer symptoms of PTSD. This is critical because it means that therapists can work on the strengthening the relationship between the couple early on to minimize symptoms of PTSD that lead to violence.
Summary of articles
Article: Domestic violence in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder who seek couples therapy.
This was an excellent study that examined the level of depression in veterans and how the depression often escalates into PTSD. Veterans with PTSD are found to be significantly more likely to commit a violent act against their partner. The study found a correlation in depressed veterans who mirrored the acts of veterans with PTSD. This study addressed a huge issue in the field of therapy; that veterans who suffer from depression are at risk for committing domestic violence. This is a concern in the therapy field because intake sessions are unlikely to prove...