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How Buddhist military chaplains can help military servicemen and servicewomen cope with the problems in their lives due tostress, pressure, anxiety, tension, trauma, hassle, worry, and PTSD

Item

Author

McPaulnarai, Andrew Pradoochai

Date

2022

Degree

Doctor of Buddhist Ministry

Committee

Gauthier, Jitsujo
Gabriel, Victor
Park, Jongmae

Abstract

With the United States military actively engaged in long-term, sustained conflicts, the effects of those conflicts on the overall psychological and spiritual well being of service members throughout the military branches have had a negative impact on the individual lives of military service personnel and their family’s members. These effects have also burdened the United States government in actively seeking interventional aid to personnel and their families suffering from the experience of war. In the past these effects had different names, but today, the overwhelming and debilitating experience of war is known as post traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD). The effects of PTSD have had a lasting negative impact on the effectiveness of military personnel and their units. While considerable progress has been made in developing useful therapies to address the onset and treatment of PTSD, these therapies are potentially cost-restrictive and limited in access. Furthermore, military personnel may be hesitantly to seek out these treatments as well as they may fear that it will have a negative impact on their military careers. However, military chaplains do not have this stigma as they are the only role in the military not required to report about who said what and when in the face of command.

Currently there have been considerable inroads of research made in the development of mindfulness-based cognitive therapies (MBCT), which is a secular version of mindfulness, originally extracted from Buddhist practice. To do this, I will consider the historical approach given by the Buddha, the secular approach developed in the West, which has already been clinically tested, and consider what the secular approach removed, and, what opportunities Buddhist military chaplains may have in reintegrating these approaches in working with people with PTSD. My research, the dissertation should provide resources for Buddhist chaplains to give better care as well as better understand how to use their specific backgrounds to maximum effect. If successful, I hope this research will translate, via chaplains, into the further utilization of religion and religious care and service in the face of real world problems such as PTSD.

Keywords

Counseling psychology
Buddhist military chaplains
Pressure anxiety tension
Servicemen and servicewomen
Trauma hassle worry

Degree Granter

University of the West


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