Jan. 4, 2012—Military couples often are dealing with relationship issues related to military service such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), deployment and combat exposure as well as issues common to all married couples – problems expressing feelings, fighting too much, money, children, household tasks, or sex. The University of Denver's Psychology Department is opening up a new therapy service focusing on helping military couples improve their relationships.
The Military Couples Clinic will offer state of the art, research-based, services for couples centered around the internationally-known Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP), the original program used in the Army's successful Strong Bonds initiative and the basis for a new Air Force program called "Got Your Back."
Eligibility for services includes any couple with at least one partner having served in any branch of the military. Educational workshops also may be available.
"Couples who come to our clinic will learn to talk about feelings that need to be expressed and heard," says Dr. Howard J. Markman, director of the Military Couples Clinic and co-author of the best-selling book, Fighting For Your Marriage. "Couples will learn to improve their ability to talk without fighting about important issues, to solve problems as a team, to be more supportive, to understand commitment, sacrifice and forgiveness, to have more fun, be better friends and restore sensuality and romance."
Markman and his colleagues have been doing research on helping couples in the Army for more than 10 years, and the findings from these studies provide a strong research base for the services offered at the clinic.
"We've found 11 to 20 percent of veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom suffer from PTSD, often with negative effects on marriage," Markman says. "Couples therapy can help marriages and is associated with reduced PTSD symptoms."
The Military Couples Therapy Clinic is currently accepting appointments and can be reached at (303) 871-3306. All fees for services are based on the ability to pay. In addition to military couples, services also are available to first responder couples, where one partner or both are engaged in services that protect our nation and neighborhoods, including police officers, firefighters, homeland security, FBI, CIA and other security and defense agencies.