School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Daniel Marston


faith, PTSD, stress, anxiety, Veteran, Veteran spouse, life coaching, selfcare




Veterans who courageously served in the military are often diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and their spouses are at high risk of suffering in silence from stress and anxiety. Many spouses are also their Veteran’s caregiver which leaves little time for their own self-care needs. Being a Veteran’s 24-hour caregiver can lead to poor physical and mental health, aggravating spouses stress and anxiety levels which is often only treated with medication or goes untreated due to lack of mental health care access and the stigma that comes with it. The literature review explores the research gap of how online faith-based group life coaching can affect the stress and anxiety levels of Veteran spouses through introducing new skills one day at a time. Previous studies showed introducing new healthy behaviors through life coaching helps reduce symptoms of PTSD, stress, and anxiety in Veterans, but no study had examined what affect life coaching has on Veteran spouses’ stress and anxiety levels. This 21-day online intervention explored the question of how faith-based group life coaching affects stress and anxiety levels in spouses. Cognitive behavior coaching, stress and anxiety management, and self-care techniques unique to Veteran spouses’ specific needs through lifestyle modification were introduced. Participants were 118 female spouses with self-reported stress and anxiety, recruited from Facebook and Liberty University. Participants were randomized to one of three different groups (intervention [faith], active control [non-faith], control [non-faith self-coaching]). Pre-assessments were done at baseline and post assessments were done after day 21. The results showed that this faith-based life coaching program had a positive impact on decreasing stress and anxiety levels in spouses while also increasing levels of faith. On this basis, it is recommended that faith be incorporated as a key factor delivering a life coaching program designed to reduce levels of stress and anxiety.

Included in

Counseling Commons