As the newest generation of veterans returns home from the fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq, increased attention is being paid to their postdeployment mental health adjustment as well as the interpersonal sequelae of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions. The Department of Defense has begun to invest in relationship-enhancement programs to ease the burden on both service members and their families across the deployment cycle. However, when there is the presence of PTSD, a disorder-specific conjoint treatment may be needed to address both PTSD and associated relationship difficulties. Cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy (CBCT) for PTSD is a disorder-specific, manualized conjoint therapy designed to simultaneously improve PTSD symptoms and intimate relationship functioning. This article reviews knowledge on the association between PTSD and relationship problems in recently returned veterans and provides an overview of CBCT for PTSD. We then present a case study to illustrate the application of CBCT for PTSD to an Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veteran and his wife and conclude with recommendations for how mental health providers can apply the treatment to recently returned veterans and their loved ones.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology