VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Creating Connections and Fostering Self-Growth: Gestalt Group Counseling for Military Spouses
Megan Numbers and Laura Bruneau
Military spouses face unique concerns and challenges during wartime and at peacetime. Because of the distinct stressors military spouses encounter, the need for accessible mental health services is imperative. However, self-care and self-growth are often low priorities for this population. Group counseling provides a milieu for military spouses to support one another and to work through common issues. In particular, Gestalt group counseling provides an opportunity for creating connections, fostering self-growth, and learning coping skills. Gestalt group counseling may offer a space where military spouses feel supported and connected to other military spouses, as well as a venue to explore relational difficulties and foster self-growth. The purpose of this article is to describe a promising group counseling approach for military spouses. The authors will examine therapeutic factors of group therapy and specific Gestalt therapy interventions within the context of counseling this population.
Keywords: group counseling, support group, military spouses, Gestalt therapy