Building Family Resilience [PDF]
The book "When the Warrior Returns: Making the Transition Home" (editors Nathan Ainspan and Walter Penk) includes a chapter on “Building Family Resilience in the Military Family During and Following Deployment,” which is available in full (with permission from the publisher) on HPRC.
Note: the Chapter text has not been edited by HPRC and is available in the version obtained from the authors and publisher.
Learn the background behind “Building Resilience” and how the authors define resilience. The topics provide directions for building resilience.
What Makes Up a Family?
Learn about the expanded definition of what a family is and how it specifically applies to military families.
Deployment Stressors, Coping, and Reintegration Strategies for Families
This section highlights common military stressors related to deployment, with helpful tips for coping.
How Relationships are Impacted by Deployment and Reintegration
The focus here is on common relationship stressors from deployment and reintegration, as well as ways to strengthen relationships through these stages. Here you can also find tips for how couples can best cope with the stress of reintegration.
How Children and Teens are Impacted by Deployment and Reintegration
This section explores techniques that can help children affected by deployment and reintegration be more resilient. It includes behaviors by age group along with tips for parents to help their children with deployment and reintegration.
How Family Finances are Impacted by Deployment and Reintegration
Military families deal with additional challenges that can impact their finances. Read about how deployment and reintegration can impact family finances and learn tips to improve your family’s financial resilience.
War-Related Physical and Mental Health Conditions
Learn about some possible physical and mental conditions that can be sustained during deployment and how they can impact relationships.
Health Literacy Tips: How to Prepare for the Health Care Provider Visit
Visits to healthcare providers are a normal part of life. Learn some tips for how to be proactive about your own and your family’s healthcare.
Dealing with Individual Stress Responses and Risky Behaviors
A service member’s involvement in high-stress situations such as combat can trigger a stress response or stress injury that is difficult to reset once home. Learn about stress responses as well as tips for families with wounded service members.
Resilience Skill #1: Incorporating Mind-Body Skills
Being able to manage stress and intense emotions is a key factor in promoting resilience. Learn how to relax through Mind-Body Skills.
Resilience Skill #2: Think: Incorporating Cognitive-Behavioral Skills
A second key resilience-building skill is learning how to recognize unproductive ways of thinking and reframe those thoughts. Learn how in this section.
Resilience Skill #3: Communication: A Key Family Resilience-building Skill
A third key resilience-building skill is communication. Learn how to communicate well with your family with these practical tips.
The sources used in all of the above sections are listed here.
Web Sites and Resources for Families
The authors of this book chapter put together a list of helpful websites and resources for strengthening military families.