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So I went to my first group therapy session at the VA today.

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posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 03:34 PM
As the title states I went for my first sssion today focusing on cognitive therapy in a group environment at the PTSD clinic at my local VA. I must say I was surprised as hell after the hour and a half session was over. There were six of us who showed up. One woman who was retired Army, four older gentelmen from the Vietnam era, and myself an OIF veteran. I swear I could have been sitting in that room with five other ATS members and a psychologist and a student. I could not believe how much in common our views were.

We were discussing how our lives have changed from prior to our experiences and how they have changed since. Every single person stated that the status of our country and the needless wars are their biggest stressors and make the PTSD that much worse. The corrupt government and even issues with the VA were disgussed without a negative response form the two staff members. They are completly open to discussing these matters and they understand that we are looked at as crazy for the things we believe. But the truth is crazy and when you put a group of angry veterans together the truth will come out.

The man I sat next to and I bonded right away and I really do wonder if he may be a member here. Anyways it was just nice to spend some time with others who are alike and not just by communicating on a web forum. It gave me a glimmer of hope. I just thought I would share my storie. I am going to write a report about how this group goes and possibly submit it to the VA when it is complete. I will post it here but it will not b complete for at least twelve weeks.

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 03:37 PM
reply to post by usmc0311

Glad to see you doing things to help!

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 03:40 PM
Sir in a way I know how you feel...No i have never been in the military , but many many of my friend have been and are going though what you are. Me I'm a firefighter and after dealing with some terrible deaths and 9/11 I have seeked help also.
My prayers go out to you!

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 03:41 PM
reply to post by usmc0311

That is awesome!

Stick with it. The first time is kind of surreal. The next few times are very moving. It can be a bumpy road though, Sharing for the first time is often difficult - even after doing so. A lot of folks sit for weeks, finally open up, and never come back again. Embarrassed maybe, or fearing judgment. I know I was hesitant to go back after the first time I really took off my mask and opened up there. I nearly didn't return. But I did and found that not only was it OK, but that I was even more a part of it. The others involved had all been there too, and knew how hard it was for me to make that return.

Group is better medicine than anything to be found in any bottle.

Finally an ATS post that makes me smile... it's been a few days. Thank you!


posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 03:44 PM
Very good to hear. I hope this continues to be a good experience for you. Take care.

+4 more 
posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 03:48 PM
The fact that veterans are almost all awakened to the lies and nonsense, and the fact that they were trained to kill by the goverrnment, explains exactly why y'all are on the "potential terrorist" list.

Who better to see the lies, the duplicity, the consequences of pre-emptive wars against people armed with little more than rocks and creativity, and the poor treatment received once their duty is over? To swear to protect and uphold the constitution, and protect the American people, and then be sent overseas to do the exact opposite, has to create a mental disturbance among those of you intelligent enough to see the hypocrisy.

So many vets are angry, and rightfully so. You are all aware, angry, and know how to handle weapons.

It's a good thing to get therapy, and to meet others who feel exactly as you do. Be aware, however, the government knows it too.

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 03:59 PM
reply to post by usmc0311

I know of a group of Viet Nam veterans that attend weekly meetings. They've been going for years; not because they have to, but because they want to. I guess when you go through something as traumatic as war, these meetings help to create a bond between veterans that simply cannot be formed with anyone else. And, no one can understand better than 'someone who's been there'.

Personally, whether a soldier has been in a real fight with the enemy or not, just for being in an area for a whole tour of duty where a bullet DEFINITELY has your name on it, that alone is some scary sh..! I applaud all soldiers who have been there.

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 04:15 PM
USMC, good for you. I'm glad that you found a positive way to deal with your experiences and help others at the same time. 'Looking forward to hearing how it progresses.

Like you, when I run across someone who seems to be "unsheepled" I can't help but wonder if they're an ATSer.

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 08:15 PM
So what would be required to get people to realize they should NEVER join the military in the first place?

I know times are tough and sometimes joining up seems like the only option (due to a manufactured economic debacle no doubt) but becoming a trained killer for a hidden elite is not exactly a career option.

And when are the awake military going to take on the elites?

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 08:38 PM
From the little that I understand.....the isolation is your biggest enemy. The feeling of being completely cut off from everything....touching from a distance, questioning if it is real or all in your head...if you are the only one who sees it, feels this way, is going through all this....feeling like you are speaking a foreign language.....believing it is pointless to open up because you fear others you retreat, you close down, you back away slowly and suffer in silence.....the isolation is overwhelming, and that is why group is the one thing that will help IMO.

If this sounds anything at all like what you have experienced(and I am just assuming, of course I could be off base), then I strongly encourage you to continue with group therapy. let it be your safe harbor, let it be your sanctuary, let it be the place where you do not have to feel all alone. Even if you don't speak, I think just hearing others will help. I wish you all the best during this process, and I believe that you have taken a courageous step in the right direction, it sounds cliche but every journey begins with that first step. You are on your way, and that is a very good thing IMO.

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 08:41 PM
That's awesome, that takes a lot off guts to go into a new place and talk about your feelings with strangers.

I was also OIF, I was at Balad aka "Mortaritaville" but we were constantly on the move so we would RON at other fobs like Warhorse, Ashraf, Seitz, Camp Liberty, Scania, Kalsu, Iscand, Al Asad which was cool I got to see almost all of Iraq.

I guess Heff was right when he told me group therapy isn't bad. Thank you USMC for posting this, I've been hesitant about going but since you and Heff say its not bad I have no excuse not to go.

I really hope everything works out for you and Thank you for your service and a Thank you for your family. Its not only us that sacrifices it also our loved ones.

Those Vietnam Vets are some of the nicest and funniest people I've met. I can't imagine having to go through what they did when they came back home.
edit on 2012/10/10 by ussoldier because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 08:56 PM
reply to post by usmc0311
Glad to see you went and checked out some group therapy at the VA... Probably something I ought to be doin' as well, even though introverts such as myself don't like talking in groups much.

Lookin' forward to reading more about your experiences.

reply to post by ussoldier
I read your thread yesterday, and got to tell you I related to much of what you said. Which OIF were you there? Five, here. Was all over the country, also.

Take care, I'll be looking forward to future threads from both of you.

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 09:36 PM
Hey Brother! First, thank you for your service and sacrifice. Second, read your bible. Third, finish the program at the VA. Many men have dealt with this before you and many will after you. Most make it through. Be positive and find something that occupies your time that you like to do. I know that it can be hard at times, but time is the best healer along with a relationship with G-d. Take care brother and G-d bless!

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 09:42 PM

Originally posted by usmc0311
The man I sat next to and I bonded right away and I really do wonder if he may be a member here. Anyways it was just nice to spend some time with others who are alike and not just by communicating on a web forum. It gave me a glimmer of hope. I just thought I would share my storie. I am going to write a report about how this group goes and possibly submit it to the VA when it is complete. I will post it here but it will not b complete for at least twelve weeks.


You just never know who may be sitting next to you

It's the first step of many.
Welcome home,

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 10:11 PM
reply to post by usmc0311

Good job USMC, its a big step and a major step in coping with PSTD (OIF). There are some things a soldier can talk about that others dont and can not understand. It helps being in a crowd that knows what its like or how it is. Iv been through 37 sessions in the last 4 1/2 years, the first one was the roughest then after that its had its ups and downs. But like others said you begin to bound with others in sessions and over time IHMO we became family and I mean birthday, holiday and Bar-B-Q close. My current girl friend doesn't understand but she sees that it helps me and if Im sick or cant make it she will do what ever to make me go.

I wish you the best USMC

Edit to add. You never know, I think one of the guys in our group is Socrtes

edit on 10-10-2012 by ga-`tv-gi because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 10:35 PM
Thank you all for the well wishes. I will stay positive and keep on truckin. Or as we say in the Corps, Ruck Up and keep movin on down the line.

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 12:06 AM
reply to post by usmc0311

Glad to see you getting some help brother. I was alone and in self destruct mode for years before I found out about the programs the VA offers and the different support groups. Needless to say they were a life saver for me. Keep going, it only gets better.

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 07:48 AM
First, thank you for your service.

I am so sorry you are having to go to this group, yet so happy it is there for you as I believe talking it out, using your words, is the best medicine you can find.

It may be emotional for you, but just keep digging deep and one day you will find healing is taking place.

Im so proud of you....


posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 10:28 AM
Us Veterans (I myself am a 13 year veteran, served in OIF, OEF, among others) are ticking timebombs of patriotic righteousness. I think when the time comes - and we will instinctively know when - to pick up arms and rectify the wrongs in this Country we will be leading the charge.

I love connecting with other Veterans. We share something most don't understand - nor ever will. I have my VA compensation appointments starting this week actually - among them will be evaluation for PTSD.

Keep connecting with your fellow veterans. I have found that we are an invaluable resource for coping, connecting, job finding, and all around just solid good people who look after one another like no others.

Keep on keeping on brother.

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 10:49 AM
Today 10-11-12 I myself an Army Medic Veteran just attended my first group therapy session. It was almost identical to the description given by our good marine.
The social worker running the group said that this block of therapy is once a week for 8 weeks
Then you move onto group therapy run by Veterans; more of a group meet and gripe
We focused today on anxiety and how to focus thoughts away from the trigger thoughts to make us dwell upon the past.
My family told me to give therapy time

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