CIC eNews Summer 2015 Issue


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VA Summer of Service 2015

 Family Services


Family Services at the VA 

VA is committed to supporting Veterans and their loved ones. We recognize the role that families can play in a Veteran’s recovery from physical or mental health problems. In addition, we know that loving a Veteran with physical or emotional issues can be challenging.


VA has implemented a range of services to meet the unique needs of different Veteran families:

  • Educational programs that involve family members, including Operation Enduring Families and the Support and Family Education (SAFE) Program as well as the VA-NAMI Family to Family partnership. There is also an online parenting program for Veterans available at this link:
  • Veteran Centered Brief Family Consultation (VCBFC). VCBFC focuses on a specific goal—perhaps learning to communicate better or obtaining information on available services.
  • Behavioral Family Therapy (BFT).   BFT is a family-based structured education and skills training program which can reduce relapse rates in schizophrenia, bipolar illness, and severe depression by up to 50%. Families learn about the illness of their loved one, and have opportunities to sharpen their communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Integrated Behavioral Couples Therapy (IBCT). IBCT is a type of couples therapy that helps partners increase their relationship satisfaction through improving communication and problem-solving skill as well as by learning to show more acceptance and tolerance toward each other. Studies show IBCT is effective for reducing marital distress and improving relationship satisfaction in Veteran and community samples. 
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for PTSD (CBCT). CBCT is a kind of couples therapy that includes PTSD education and skills to improve communication and problem-solving, as well as work within the couple to understand the trauma and the impact it has had on the relationship. Studies show CBCT can be effective for reducing PTSD and improving relationship satisfaction in Veteran and community samples.

Coaching Into Care (CIC) is a major part of the VA’s commitment to supporting families. With all of our services offered by phone, we consult with callers on a variety of mental health concerns. We provide education, support and advice on different ways to support your loved one.

Over the last several years, VA has embarked on a major clinician training program to ensure that mental health staff across the country has the skills and knowledge to provide evidence-based family interventions to Veterans and their loved ones.  This program in VA Family Services is under the guidance of Dr. Shirley M. Glynn, who also oversees the West Los Angeles Coaching Into Care site.

When a Veteran you know needs help, call Coaching Into Care at (888) 823-7458 Monday through Friday 8am to 8pm Eastern.




 VA Press Releases


VA News Releases





VA Begins Summer of Service to Bolster Volunteer Assistance for Veterans

05/26/2015 11:19 AM EDT


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced a new nationwide initiative designed to build upon its existing partnerships to grow the number of individuals and organizations serving Veterans in their communities. The Department is renewing its commitment to Veterans and embarking upon a 'Summer of Service' that seeks the help of citizens across the country to honor that commitment.



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Feds Feed Families Summer 2015

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The following is based on a real case that illustrates the work CIC does. All identifying information has been changed.

Michele called for help addressing her son Adam’s behavior changes after his deployment to Afghanistan as a Reserve Airman. When he returned, he was withdrawn, unmotivated, unable to sleep, obsessed with guns, and having relationship problems. His partner was concerned about suicide. Michele was scared and found herself giving him ultimatums, which weren’t helping.

A coach began working with her on gun safety issues and helped her practice ways to ask him directly about suicide and give him the Veterans Crisis Line as a resource. They developed alternative ways to approach him such as by using “I” statements, validating and giving him options. Michele also was given information on eligibility and enrollment.

While Adam acknowledged feeling depressed, he refused to get help, though he agreed to lock up his guns. Michele was encouraged to seek counseling herself as a way to get support as well as to model for her son. Her coach worked with her on ways to monitor without pushing too hard and making Adam more resistant to the idea of treatment.

Over time, it became apparent that Adam was self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, and he had a number of minor accidents and run-ins with local law enforcement. Michele worked with her coach to develop ways to present options to him and got him to agree to go to the VA. He enrolled and started taking antidepressants. He agreed to go to the walk-in mental health clinic. Michele worked with her coach on finding ways to enhance Adam’s motivation which helped him further engage in treatment.

After a few months, Michele noticed her son finally turning a corner, appearing less depressed, and making amends. He continues in mental health treatment at the VA and attends Substance Use Disorder (SUD) outpatient groups.

When a Veteran you know needs help, please call Coaching Into Care at (888) 823-7458 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern.

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Schizophrenia tips

Living with Schizophrenia 

Adapted from Rex Dickens and the NAMI Sibling and Adult Children Network

Coaching Into Care receives many different kinds of calls, some from family or friends of a Veteran living with a biological brain disease such as schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder.


Here are some important tips to remember if you are caring for someone with such a disease:

  • Separate the person from the disorder. Love the person even if you hate the disorder.
  • No one is to blame.
  • It may be necessary to revise your expectations.
  • Acknowledge the remarkable courage your family member may show dealing with this disorder.
  • Symptoms may change over time while the underlying disorder remains.
  • Strange behavior is a symptom of the disorder. Don’t take it personally.
  • If you can’t care for yourself, you can’t care for another. Put your own oxygen mask on first.
  • Allow family members to maintain denial of the illness if they need it. Seek out others you can talk to. Finding a support group can be helpful. You are not alone.
  • With education and treatment, individuals diagnosed with psychiatric disorders often improve and can live rich, satisfying lives.

When a Veteran you know needs help, call Coaching Into Care at (888) 823-7458 Monday through Friday 8am to 8pm Eastern.

Summer Sports

VA Office of National Veterans Sports Programs & Special Events

Omaha, Nebraska
August 8 – 12

Iowa City, Iowa
September 7 – 10

San Diego, CA
September 13 – 18

Durham, North Carolina
October 12 – 18

Chicago, Illinois
August 18 – 20

San Antonio, Texas
September 21 – 23



CIC would like to thank and recognize colleagues who collaborated with us to promote or arrange care for our families and their Veterans:

  • Jennifer Adkins, Ph.D., Local Evidence Based Practice Coordinator, Malcom Randall VA Medical Center at Gainesville, FL

  • Megan Harvey, Ph.D., Local Evidence Based Practice Coordinator, VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System at Denver

  • Theresa Mignone-Klostermann, Ph.D., Local Evidence Based Practice Coordinator, VA Western New York Healthcare System at Buffalo

  • Jeni Cook, Deputy Director, National VA Chaplain Center

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