Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition with debilitating symptoms which affects military veterans and has been understudied in the older population. Aside from treating the veterans of the Vietnam War and World War II, as service members from more recent conflicts age, the mental healthcare system needs to be able to treat them with empathy and effective therapies. As there is a need for future research focusing on this population, this paper reviews the current literature and utilizes Grounded theory to further the research related to PTSD in aging veterans. A selection of mental health clinicians with experience treating this population were interviewed and the results discussed. Those therapists who work for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) most often use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treat their clients, with Prolonged Exposure Therapy being the next most popular therapeutic modality. Those clinicians who are separate from the VA are able to employ therapies such as Cognitive Restructuring or blend theories to meet the precise needs of individual veterans. Also addressed are the differences and commonalities in PTSD symptoms between veterans of different conflict eras. Based upon these interviews, suggestions were made for changes to the treatment of military-related PTSD.

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