The Emerald Coast is the home of SEVEN military bases!
Growing up in a military town, I have been able to befriend, share life with, and simply meet an untold number of individuals who have all been passing through Pensacola under different sets of circumstances. Some, of course, have been retired veterans. Some have been in school, some have been in flight training, some have been stationed here for several years in their military careers. When I was in college, my church had a predominately military Bible study class, where I got to know some really dynamite people. Years ago, my parents took in 4 or 5 Navy students at different times, who they sort of "adopted," in order to give them a home away from home. Over the years, my family has kept in touch with several of these wonderful individuals and still considers them family. The graduate school I attended was a mere 5 miles from Pensacola Naval Air Station, and some of my fellow pupils were active duty military, who were able to earn their Master's Degree while also maintaining their full-time jobs within the military, not to mention their jobs as parents. One of my professors was a retired veteran, who was passionate about mental health care in the military and the Catholic church. Early in my career, I was able to befriend a counseling intern who began working with me that was in the Army Reserves, and I saw how she juggled being a mother and a counselor at two sites while running half-marathons, staying involved in her church, taking her family on vacations, and also working for the Reserves. I have a dear friend and war hero who has fought overseas multiple times, has saved lives of other soldiers, and has witnessed the unbearable tragedies that no man or woman should ever have to face. In precious moments that I absolutely cherish, he has shared with me how his experiences have impacted him in different ways and at different times. My path also crossed with one young Navyman, who was terribly lost, misguided, depressed, and suicidal. Listening to his story helped me understand that so many like him join the military because they feel they have no other place to go and need to find structure, family, and a sense of belonging. I made a wonderful girlfriend who showed me the inner-workings of her military life, home, and marriage. She allowed me in on the moment-to-moment struggles of being a military wife and mother. The challenges she faced and weight she bore on an hourly basis were terrifying. I have met many people who have fought for our country, my grandfathers being two of them. I have gotten to know the families of these heroic service people, and I have watched their families relocate and transition to new places. While these are only a few of my many privileged stories with military individuals and families, I share these encounters to show just how many military lives we come into contact with over the course of our lives and on a daily basis living here on the amazing Emerald Coast. I'm sure if you think about it, you could make your own list of the lives by whom you've been touched and the lessons you've learned from these special men and women.
Our military defends and protects us, allowing us to do what we do every day with peace of mind. If it weren't for our armed forces and the infrastructure and subcultures of the various military branches therein, we civilians would not be able to live the lives we live so freely and with such abandon. Because of the millions of men and women who have lost their lives; the millions of spouses, children, and family members who have grieved those losses; the millions of men and women who now suffer both physical disabilities and mental illnesses; the millions of children who have suffered mental illnesses due to losing a parent or fearing a parent's loss; the millions of family members who have been impacted by deployment, losses, injuries, transition, and worry; the millions of military couples whose marriages didn't make it; the millions of spouses and children of service people who have endured stress and anxiety surrounding countless moves and uprooting, which have meant changing schools, friends, doctors, parks, and routines...because of these millions, both past and present, you and I live in the greatest nation in the world. And these millions made it great...for us.
This is why I want to work with individuals and families in all branches of the military to offer counseling services at affordable rates to those in need. Though I take Tricare insurance, some veterans may have a different insurance carrier (or no insurance at all), and some active duty military individuals do not want to file insurance for counseling services. I am open to discussing rates that are affordable for you and your family. Please do not hesitate to call me and let me know your barriers for treatment. I will do what I can to get you in.
Some of the reasons military individuals seek counseling include marital problems, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress from combat, military sexual trauma, family problems, substance abuse, adjustment problems after deployment, and issues transitioning to civilian life once out of the military. Military spouses may seek therapy for issues concerning stress, anxiety, depression, feeling alone and overwhelmed, fear and worry, grief and loss issues, marital problems, transition problems, and parenting issues. No matter the problem, I am committed to providing an atmosphere of respect, compassion, and empathy, as you teach me about your unique set of circumstances. Though I will not claim to understand the miles you've tread and the intricacies of military culture, I will do my very best to step into your world as you let me in. However, you can be confident that I am committed to competence in my profession so that I can best serve military men and women, who are deserving of the finest health care available. Thus, I remain current in provider trainings. One of the most enlightening and compelling courses of my career as of yet was designed by the Department of Veterans Affairs in collaboration with the Department of Defense, entitled "Military Culture: Core Competencies for Healthcare Professionals," an extremely thorough course on military ethos that allowed me to hear and learn from a number of service people. This particular training was designed to help learners be able to explain factors that shape their opinions about the military; analyze any military biases they may have; evaluate the possible impact of military culture on a service person's sense of self, others, and worldview; assess how military ethos impacts therapeutic interactions; and describe how military ethos may contribute to the stigma for seeking help and self care.
There has long been a stigma attached to seeking counseling as a military individual, including as a military spouse. As the supreme purpose of the armed forces is to defend and protect, our military men and women are painstakingly trained to be both physically and mentally strong and capable. Thus, asking for help somehow vehemently opposes the very nature of their trained function, and translates to, "You are weak and incompetent." Let us NOT reinforce this terrible lie. The absolute truth is: asking for help is courageous. Because it means that you are brave enough to take a risk and allow someone else in to places that need to be explored in order to tend to the one you have been putting aside in order to take care of countless others.
Thank you for choosing Bayou Wellness. It is an honor to serve you.
Bayou Wellness supports all branches of the United States Military, offering affordable rates to you and your family!
Active Duty | Veterans | National Guard | Reserves
Don't hesitate to call today to discuss your therapy and financial needs!