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Military Counseling Competency Training

There is a paradigm shift today in the counseling and psychology profession. How do we translate the theories, clinical strategies, and treatments for military service members, veterans, and their family members? The Clinical Military Counselor Certificate (CMCC) program will help you translate your clinical practice into the cultural lens of the military. My October article addresses the complex issues challenging both clinicians and military personnel.

In the pre-dawn hours of April 18, 1906 one of the largest natural disasters in the U.S. took place killing over three thousand persons. This was not the result of war. Rather, it was the San Francisco earthquake estimated to be about a 7.8 magnitude estimated by today’s Richter scale rating. As a result of this earthquake, commercial buildings toppled, houses collapsed and shifted from their foundations, water mains and gas lines were twisted and ruptured. This earthquake in California was felt along the quake-line from about 300 miles north to south. Within a five mile radius of the epicenter, more than 28,000 structures were totally decimated by explosions, blasts, and fires. In the aftermath about 80% of San Francisco was destroyed. Over half of the city’s population (approximately 400,000) souls perished. Persons were left homeless and thousands were listed as missing.

As we prepare for the next natural and un-natural disaster how easily we have forgotten the cataclysmic event that took place on December 26, 2004 where a Tsunami and earthquake, registering 9.0 off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, injured and claimed the lives of millions of people. To date, thousands have not been found in 14 countries that were affected such as Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Where did all the disaster mental health counselors, international volunteers, angels, and earthly saints go that descended upon these countries? Did they have to retreat back home for the sake of their own emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being? Who has taken their place? The desolation left in the aftermath of these particular critical events creates a sort of historical trauma among world cultures.

The Zombie Apocalypse on U.S. Soil
Even a Zombie apocalypse does not compare to catastrophic natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and wildfires. The significant loss, grief, emotional and psychological trauma associated with such critical events are much like war. How easily some of us have forgotten the horrific terrorist attacks of Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001 that left emotional, physical, spiritual, and environmental scars upon our minds, bodies, spirits, of American culture.
As American’s prepare for the next attack on U.S. soil we cannot take our eyes off such critical events as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornados, drought, earthquakes, school shootings, bombings at sporting events, biological epidemic and pandemics viral attacks, and socio-political-civil unrest. There are other-worldly alien entities in the universe that could harm us also. All critical incidents require our complete and full attention. It necessitates a high level of empathy and compassion towards survivors of such traumatic events. As mental health professionals, we are constantly in a state of natural and un-natural disaster preparedness. A Zombie Apocalypse could potentially be just around the corner hiding in the shadows.

Empathy Fatigue
As a consequence, we have the potential to be emotionally, socially, physically, spiritually, and vocationally exhausted. I would propose that many of us are experiencing empathy fatigue; a construct I coined and delineated in the research beginning in 1998. Empathy fatigues results from the mental, emotional, psychological, medical, physical, and spiritual exhaustion as a direct consequence of providing services at the most intense levels of human suffering. The ensuing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East, South American, North Africa, and the fight against multiple terror groups, many that have not surfaced yet, are all constant reminders of how fragile our physical safety, mental health, and overall well-being can be. For many, planet earth does not appear to be a safe place to live because of the multitude of natural, un-natural, and person-made disasters.

A World at War
The foundation of wars that are fought have only three rules: 1. Bring a weapon; 2. Bring all your friends and family members with weapons; and 3. There are no winners and losers- humans must hunt, kill, or be killed themselves. As many warfighters will tell you “there is a cost to killing another human being”. Failure to respond to a world at war is not an option. However, the consequence of warfighting harms our mind, body, spirit, and quality-of-life in the United States.
Globally, wars have accelerated within the last 17 years since 9/11. Statistically, the majority of deaths that occur during times of war do not involve military personnel. Rather, 90% comprise civilian casualties. Since World War II there have been 127 different wars fought globally with over 40 million civilian deaths. World War II alone was responsible for over 27.3 million civilian casualties. There have been over 5.4 million civilian deaths in the Democratic Republic of Congo; 2 million civilian deaths related to the Khmer Rouge killing fields; 2 million civilian deaths in Rwanda; and 200,000 civilian deaths from the Bosnian civil war in the Balkins. Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn, have resulted in over 210,000 civilian casualties.

Thank You for Your Service: The CMCC Program
My professional life was inspired by my own experiences in disaster mental health and trauma counseling with both civilian and military populations. I have been both a counselor educator, researcher, and practitioner that has been trained in various trauma therapies, disaster mental health, critical incident, and group crisis response models. I have facilitated these approaches with persons and organizations who have been at the epicenter of war, natural, and person-made disasters. There are very few models which understand the military culture. Thus, this inspired the Clinical Military Counselor Certificate (CMCC) training program which I developed to help address the unique needs of military service members and their families.
So how do we come out of the darkness and into the light bringing new meaning and understanding of specific clinical approaches that translate well into providing services to the military culture? How can we take our current clinical training and translate this into the cultural lens of the veterans’ experiences of combat deployments? What are some unique cultural differences within the military define the men and women that have serve in support of combat operations? How can we facilitate good emotional, social, physical, psychological, spiritual, and occupational well-being of active duty service members, veterans, veterans with disabilities, and family members? These are just some questions that will be answered in the CMCC training program.
Thus, it is my intention that mental health and other behaviorally-trained professionals acquire the knowledge, awareness, and skills to work optimally with active duty service members, veterans, veterans with disabilities, and family member. The CMCC training approach provides a unique resource guide with practical application for counselor educators, graduate students, mental health and other behaviorally-related practitioners that will prepare them to meet the intense challenges of military mental health for the 21st century. The CMCC program particularly honors the collective wisdom of military cultural practices, mission objectives, and philosophical orientations from a variety of resources. Participants will gain the knowledge and skills in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of military personnel and their family members.

Thank you for an informational, relevant course to help me obtain my TMH certificate. Excellent presentation.
Tomica Horton
counselor/therapist / Jodi Province Counseling Services
Great, course. Really helped me during this challenging time to connect with students.
Priscilla Robinson
School Counselor / Baltimore County Public Schools
Courses were very informative! Extremely helpful!
Carron D. Alexander
LPC / Premier Counseling Services
This course is more comprehensive than all the other HIPAA courses I've taken combined.
Michelle R. Gould, LMHC
Mental Health Counselor
This course is providing me with valuable information that will be helpful in providing competent and effective services for clients.
Nancy Sweet-Holp, LMSW
Therapist / Liberty House of Albany
Educational and informative content that was easy to follow and comprehend.
Scott Lipp, Ph.D., LMHC, LAC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor; Adjunct Professor / Greater Things, LLC; Florida Atlantic University
It was one of the best courses I’ve attended; clear, well-structured, creative, transparent and professional! Bravo.
Elizabeth Tramonte, PsyD
Private Practitioner / Elizabeth Tramonte PC
Very well done. Encourages active engagement in telemental health process while guiding effectively.
Chris Brotherton
Marriage and Family Therapist / Addiction Counselor / Brotherton Counseling LLC
This was quite beneficial. You explained well at a comfortable pace and you provided sufficient details for me to develop an Emergency Management Plan. Thank you!
Vey helpful and user friendly. Most importantly informative. Very good information to enhance an individual's practice.
La Keicia Boyd
Licensed Professional Counselor / Private Practice
This course was extremely helpful understanding the legal requirements for interstate telehealth counseling.
Donald Kirk Henderson
Licensed Professional Counselor / Milestone Family Resources
Wonderful free training. Helpful discussion on how to aid clients in breaking out of the negative thought trap.
Jaime Wright
Very informative! Well organized! Takeaway- protect yourself- know your ethical code and standards/ be insured.
Brenda Staerker
Private practice / Thaxton Holistic Wellness
Amazing and relevant information conveyed over excellent format. This is a professional organization worth joining.
Summer Allan Wilson LCSW-S; Nationally Certified TFCBT
Pediatric Psychotherapist / East Texas Family Guidance Center
The training was well structured and presented by a knowledge individual. Information shared in the training was useful, clear, and concise and can easily be incorporated into future practice techniques.
Dora Falls
LPC, MAC Private Practice - / Private Practice

The course was very detailed and informative. It covered everything that is necessary to work with Tele mental health.

Cynthia Allison
Mental health Counselor / Friendly Therapy LLC
Brillant concept and a great way to support counselors as they transition into on-line therapy/services.
Bianca Abrams
License Professional Counselor / The Wellness Institute of Atlanta
This course was very interesting and allowing me to understand the way telementalhealth services need to work correctly.
Patricia A Hill
Mental Health Counselor II and LCDC, MAC / Central County Services
The training was very informative, there was more in-depth information to the details of privacy and HIPAA on an electronic level that I was not aware of. The more technological part of it was new information to me.
Nellie Decker
Therapist II / Yakama Nation Behavioral Health
Necessary technological guidance!
Frances D Murdock
I really gained a deeper understanding of Telehealth. I think this course helps pave the way for success in our field. This was very convenient. I am so blessed to take a course like this during the crisis we are facing as a nation. This course really helps me perform at a high level for my job. THANKS!!!!!!!
Jackie Tanna
Therapist / Region One Mental Health
The course was so informative and I was glued to my screen for the entire duration. I received so much knowledge concerning ethics in telehealth and I am greatly encouraged to read about all the standards and policies that pertain to my practice. Thank you!
Bridgette Nalumu
Public health consultant / Green and Purple Consultancy Network
Easily one of the best online or in-person workshops I have ever attended. The information was unbelievably relevant to current practice with our students doing e-learning and having to provide online therapy and support. Thank you so much for this workshop and the information.
Vincent Amador
School Psychologist / Thornridge High School
I took the Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider Training Certification Course in 2018, I feel so lucky to have found the TeleHealth Certification Institute. It's a top notch training center which has continued to provide me with tools and the knowledge to grow my private teletherapy practice. I recently participated in the TeleMental Health Preparedness Summit 2020 and was definitely not disappointed. The excitement and enthusiasm from the participants and TeleHealth Certification Institute staff is contagious. I've been inspired, since, to look into taking more courses, and joined their FaceBook group. I will likely join their consultation group in the near future. I don't believe there is another training institute out there that is as good as this one for everything telebehavioral health. Thank you Ray! You are a visionary!
Larissa Golloub, LCSW-R
Psychotherapist, solo practitioner / Larissa Golloub, LCSW
This course was very informative and very relevant to today's telehealth practices!
Keith Ayson
Housing Case Manager / Bridgeways
This course was eye opening and highlighted some definite areas for improvement to better address emergency management planning.
Nikkita Scott
Director of Counselling & Student Activities / Bbermuda College
Very informative. I learned things that I wasn't aware of about state laws!
Tamara Coleman
Counselor / Tamara Coleman Counseling LLC
Very informative training, instruction was clear and easy to follow
Jill Bogan-El
I learned a lot in this course and will put what I learned into practice when I move my home office space.
Raymond Corbo
Clinical Supervisor and Counselor / Redeemer Counseling Services
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