The James H. Quillen VA Medical Center offers Veterans and their significant others a chance to reconnect through participation in a program called “Warrior to Soul Mate” or W2SM.
The Veteran couple pictured above enjoyed interacting during a recent “Warrior to Soul Mate” activity.
The program, run by the Chaplain’s office in cooperation with Mental Health, offers an effective way to positively impact Veteran’s relationships, in turn helping their overall health and well-being.
W2SM is not “couples therapy,” but a practical educational program for couples that helps develop skills for deepening their relationships and working through conflict and difficulties.
The program uses the Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills (PAIRS) curriculum. These skills can bring hope and healing to Veterans and their loved ones who have been impacted by serving our country through military service.
“These two sessions had a profound impact upon me…”
“This program provides hope and renewal to relationships, providing a safe and healing environment for Veterans to renew and reconnect with their significant other through the teaching of vital relationship skills,” said Brian Miller, staff chaplain.
Recent participants have had positive responses to the weekend-long event.
“These two sessions had a profound impact upon me and provided something that I can use, not only in my marriage but in all my relationships, to better communicate and participate in more consciously, compassionately, empathically,” said one Veteran participant.
“These workshops are important because they assist Veterans with their relationships,” Miller said. “There is clear evidence that healthy relationships decrease episodes of stress-related illnesses, divorce, mental health issues, abuse, addictions – the list goes on.
“These are concerns that we work to address with our Veterans in ways they may not have considered before. Our mission is to provide them with the tools they need to have healthy relationships and healthier lives overall.”
Kristen Schabert is the Public Affairs Officer at the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center.