Bob said that he misses the cohesion and unity of being in the military, where he was close to many of the men he served with. He is unable to gain significant support from his family, as they do not understand his combat experiences and they were never that close a family. Many of his friends and even his girlfriend, do not fully understand his war experience and the challenges of returning to civilian life. Isolation is a common experience for Bob.
The employee and I discussed some of the types of calls and other issues that are distressing and came up with a plan of action that he would apply when providing services for certain types of customers. Some of those actions are; setting limits on yelling/cursing, putting the person on hold for a couple of seconds, informing the caller that he needs to consult with a supervisor and lowering the volume on the caller’s voice. He also has resumed going to the gym and obtained a personal trainer as he has gained a lot of weight given the sedentary nature of his job. I obtained some resources for veterans in his area including a therapist on his insurance plan, who specializes in trauma. Employee requested resources both inside and outside the VA hospital system so he feels that he has a range of services to choose from. Bob also took the initiative to meet a couple of veterans at his company to overcome his isolation. They meet each other for lunch once a month to support each other at work and help one another with the daily challenges they face.
The employee was seen for a few follow up sessions, as he was transitioning to ongoing therapy. He continues to struggle with many issues, but feels the specific behaviors we discussed, have helped him more effectively manage his triggers. The referrals and stress management/fitness plan have helped him gain more control in his life and in his work.