Army psychologists diagnose mental health problems and provide therapy to soldiers coping with anxiety, PTSD, and other problems. They spend a lot of time meeting with soldiers in deployment centers getting ready for combat.
Army psychologists who counsel soldiers fighting overseas usually administer solution-focused therapy. Those counseling soldiers at deployment centers usually administer cognitive-behavioral therapy to soldiers struggling with anxiety. Psychologists who meet with veterans frequently recognize post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) symptoms and take appropriate actions.
Army psychologists typically work at military hospitals and bases. The Army has recently hired more psychologists to assist soldiers struggling with PTSD, anxiety, severe depression, relationship problems, substance abuse, etc. Many soldiers struggle after returning to civilian life, so Army psychologists also spend time counseling those fitting this description.
Service members often do not need therapy, but many meet with psychologists to have someone to seek advice from. Soldiers assigned the duty of notifying families when their loved ones are killed in combat often counsel with Army psychologists. Army psychologists listen to their patients’ concerns and help them sort out their emotions.
Army psychologists are often enlisted in the Army, but the Army also hires civilian psychologists to work at military bases, veterans’ hospitals, and deployment centers. Army psychologists spend a lot of time counseling service members’ family members struggling with severe depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and other problems. They also frequently setup group counseling programs focused on improving relationships, preventing substance abuse, and stress management.
Many Army psychologists help develop Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, (SERE) training, survival training intended for Green Berets and other special operatives. Special forces operatives undergo rigorous training to prepare for life and death situations. Also, Army psychologists prepare these soldiers for hostile interrogations in the event of their capture, and they recommend candidates for special units and missions. Army psychologists responsible for making these recommendations are called operational psychologists. These specialists typically work at Fort Bragg, North Carolina since special force units train there.
The Afghanistan and Iraq wars have heightened demand for Army psychologists. The Army is 20 percent below its staffing requirements. To recruit more psychologists, the Army is offering large signing bonuses and providing tuition reimbursement to newly recruited psychologists. The Army is also hiring more civilian psychologists.
Now is an excellent time to work as a psychologist for the Army. If this career interests you, earn a degree in psychology from a university or college offering American Psychological Association (APA) accredited programs.