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A Thematic Analysis of How Combat-Related Trauma is Currently Understood and Made Sense of Amongst British Army Veterans.

Reeves, Pamela. (2011) A Thematic Analysis of How Combat-Related Trauma is Currently Understood and Made Sense of Amongst British Army Veterans. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Background: The literature on combat-related trauma suggests varied conceptualisations of individual vulnerability and acceptance within the army across time. Current literature presents seeming contradictions between acceptance of trauma and actual rates of disclosure by soldiers. The literature suggests strong disincentives to help-seeking within the army and evidence of under-reporting of difficulties. Consequently, civilian mental health practitioners are likely to encounter discharged soldiers seeking help for unmanaged traumatic reactions. Current study: The current study attempts to understand the meaning of combat-related trauma within the context of a group of British army veterans. Methods: Two focus groups were conducted; one group comprising four male officer veterans and the other group comprising four male non-officer veterans. Each focus group was recorded, transcribed verbatim, and subjected to thematic analysis. Findings: An overarching theme of ‘Resisting the idea of trauma’ was developed with three sub-themes, namely: ‘Dissonant representations of trauma’, ‘Trauma interferes with operational imperatives’ and ‘’ambivalence regarding self disclosure’. Veterans understood that the army was encouraging people to seek help, but believed this would result in discrimination and exclusion. Furthermore the culture encouraged them to transform distress into more acceptable narratives, further removing the possibility of developing a language by which to express suffering. Conclusions: It is argued that the army is in a dilemmatic position: the need to maintain cohesion amongst troops to ensure operational success conflicts with the recognition and care of traumatised soldiers. The study findings provide insight for civilian clinicians attempting to achieve ‘cultural competence’ with a veteran population. 

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Reeves, Pamela.
Date : 2011
Additional Information : Thesis (Psych.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2011.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 14:37
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 14:46
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856333

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