In this episode of Borne the Battle, Army Veteran Dr. Anneke Vandenbroek, a board-certified clinical psychologist, discusses changes in treating Veterans in times of COVID, cognitive behavioral therapy, the importance of mental healthcare and how any Veteran, regardless of discharge status, can receive cost-free mental health care at any Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic in the country.
Dr. Vandenbroek joined the Army during her doctoral program when she received the Health Professions Scholarship. She had little idea of the variety of jobs and opportunities that awaited her in the military. After graduating from Nova Southeastern University with her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, she was later stationed in Hawaii.
After serving at Tripler Army Medical Center, Dr. Vandenbroek retired from the military and transitioned to a similar civilian position within the Department of Defense, which allowed her to maintain a career while her husband was still in the military. She continued to pivot within her career as her military family dynamic continued to change throughout the years.
A final move to Maryland resulted in Dr. Vandenbroek taking a position at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Her work at Walter Reed differed from the pre-9/11 years she spent at Tripler, bringing challenging new injuries, experiences and complications during her 10 years at the medical center.
Dr. Vandenbroek left Walter Reed in 2017 and is currently the director of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals. Although this particular clinic serves the DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia region, The Cohen Veterans Network partners with many different organizations to run clinics that serve everyone regardless of their discharge status or benefit status. There are 20 Cohen Clinics nationwide that serve children as young as four years old, active duty service members, family members and caregivers. By the end of 2021, the Cohen Veterans Network plans to have 25 operational clinics. In the interview, Dr. Vandenbroek said that Cohen Clinics receive many referrals from VA facilities.
Also in this episode, Dr. Vandenbroek discusses what cognitive behavioral therapy is and how it works, the increase in need for mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rewards of helping Veterans improve their quality of life through mental health care and how good communication skills can help Veteran families.
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:
- Air Force Veteran Gerald Mcilmoyle
Mentioned in this episode:
- Borne the Battle #218: David Muir, Easterseals’ Veteran Staffing Network
- Borne the Battle #164: Benefits Breakdown, VA Vet Centers
- Borne the Battle #235: VA Secretary Denis McDonough
- VA PTSD Resources – National Center for PTSD
- VA Research on Prolonged Exposure Therapy
- Veteran finds cognitive processing therapy “very difficult…but the reward is significant” – VAntage Point
- A safe place: One Veteran’s experience with prolonged exposure therapy – Vantage Point
Jana Jenkins is a podcast intern with the VA’s Digital Media Engagement Team. She is an undergraduate student at the College of Saint Benedict studying Communication.