Service member's spouse

Learn about: Service member's spouse from Catherine Mogil, PsyD,...
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Service member's spouse

The spouse of the service member has a really important role in helping the trajectory of re-entry and integration for the family. When the service member comes home, the help reset expectations, not only for the service member. You can fill in the service member, "Here is what the kid did while you were gone. Here are the challenges. Your son won State in the basketball championship." Those sorts of things that are big developmental things for the kids. The spouse can fill the service member in on those things. Also, reset the kids expectations. Make sure that they are aware that dad may come home a little bit different, and he might need some space before he fully re-engages with the family. There are things they can plan, like maybe letting the service member take on roles and responsibilities in the family one step at a time. Maybe dad can start driving carpool, kind of using that as a chance to get to know his kids, observe how they are doing, see how they react with friends. Then, maybe in a week or two when he is feeling more comfortable and integrated into the family, he can start taking on more rules; such as, cooking dinner or doing the nighttime bedtime routine. If a service member comes back from deployment and there are signs of combat stress or post-traumatic stress, the family can have hope that these things do get better with time. Particularly, they can get better with support and professional help. Letting your kids know that daddy is having some challenges right now. We will get back to doing the things that we used to do as a family.
ALL PARENTS, Family Life

Learn about: Service member's spouse from Catherine Mogil, PsyD,...


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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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