Veteran Couples Integrative Intensive Retreat Model: An Intervention for Military Veterans and Their Relational Partners

J. Kale Monk, Brian G. Ogolsky, Victoria Bruner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


ABSTRACT: Military veterans are among those most affected by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to combat-related experiences and are often reluctant to seek long-term services. Trauma is commonly associated with distress for veterans as well as their partners, which makes it important for both individuals within a couple to receive mental health care. There are few brief programs, however, that provide these needed services for both active military and veteran couples who may still suffer from the effects of trauma. The authors provide a description and evaluation of a brief couples retreat model program aimed at reducing distress for veterans and their partners. A total of 149 couples (298 individuals) participated in weeklong retreat-style interventions. Results showed that trauma symptoms were significantly reduced for veterans, and partners reported a decrease in distress after the intervention. Although the magnitude of this effect diminished over time, there was evidence of long-term treatment effects at a 6-month follow-up. Results support the efficacy of this program, but the authors call for further research to provide additional evidence of treatment outcomes in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-176
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Couple and Relationship Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016



  • Traumatic stress
  • health and well-being
  • integrating creative, experiential approaches to couples therapy
  • military couples
  • multi-couple group treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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