Father-son reintegration with military families

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Father-son reintegration with military families

When a service member father comes home from deployment and they’re trying to reconnect with their son, it can be kind of a rocky period. Adolescent boys sometimes have kind of moved on – they’ve developed and they may be driving, they may be into different things. Their friends have really emerged as an important part of their life. And so, one of the things that I like to tell service member dads to do is to come home and spend time trying to get to know your son again. Learn what he’s interested in. Is he a gamer? Does he like sports? Does he like movies? And then, try to get involved with those activities. So maybe drive carpool to the sporting events or… and ask your child to invite his friends to the movies and drive them. And just kind of listen to what they talk about, hear what they talk about and then later, when you’re alone with your son, you can express interest in the things that he’s interested in. You can also just talk about things that you’re interested in. If you’ve had an interesting thing happen at work that day come home and tell your child about it. That lets your teenage son know that you have things to share with him as well. And even if he’s not really listening or acting like he’s not listening, he probably is. And if you continue to open that door for conversation and communication. He’ll know when he needs it that you’re there.
ALL PARENTS, Family Life

View Catherine Mogil, PsyD's video on Father-son reintegration with military families...


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Catherine Mogil, PsyD

Family Trauma Therapist

Dr. Catherine E. Mogil is an assistant clinical professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior in the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and serves as the director of training and intervention development for the Nathanson Family Resilience Center and as the co-director of the Child and Family Trauma Service.

Dr. Mogil is also a consultant for the National Military Family Association's Operation Purple Family Retreats, the Uniformed Services University, and a special military project with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Her recent research focuses on the effects of multiple deployments on military families, including the role of parental functioning on childhood mental health. Working with children of all developmental stages, Dr. Mogil has been involved in several intervention development and translational research projects that examine the efficacy of parent-assisted interventions for infants and toddlers in foster care, school-aged children with developmental disabilities, and adolescents with autism spectrum and other disorders.

Dr. Mogil is certified in parent-child interaction therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and leadership education in neurodevelopmental disabilities. She received her doctorate from Pepperdine University and completed her clinical internship at UCLA. Dr. Mogil also completed a postdoctoral fellowship specializing in the prevention and treatment of child and family traumatic stress at the University of Southern California and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

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