School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Suzie Johnson


veterans, poetry therapy, trauma, anxiety, depression


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


A veteran is anyone who has served on active duty in one of the five branches of the military, regardless of peacetime or combat exposure. Currently, veterans make up 2.2 million of our nation’s population and the rates of mental health concerns are continually on the rise due to the prolonged nature of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn. With the drawdown of forces, the military is smaller than usual and yet must maintain the safety and security of the world at the same standard. Therefore, these service members are recycled over and over to deployments abroad and their invisible wounds of war are becoming more recognized in society as a whole. The Department of Veterans Affairs cannot keep up with the mental health needs of these veterans. New innovative treatment approaches need to be developed and integrated into mainstream society, creating different avenues in order for veterans to receive care. Poetry in therapy has been used in several studies to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety with traumatized clients. It is proposed that the use of poetry therapy in a group setting with veterans could reduce traumatic symptomology, such as depression and anxiety.

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