40 episodes

This podcast is for anyone interested in Veteran-centric topics. Veterans have dedicated their lives to serving our country, so now it is our turn to serve them as they transition back into their civilian lives. One thing that has been discovered is that there is a lack of knowledge on the availability of resources and how to properly navigate the system upon exiting military service. This podcast's purpose is to help fill this gap of knowledge and guide veterans to the resources and information that they so deserve.

Veteran Doctor Dr. John E Heintzelman

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

This podcast is for anyone interested in Veteran-centric topics. Veterans have dedicated their lives to serving our country, so now it is our turn to serve them as they transition back into their civilian lives. One thing that has been discovered is that there is a lack of knowledge on the availability of resources and how to properly navigate the system upon exiting military service. This podcast's purpose is to help fill this gap of knowledge and guide veterans to the resources and information that they so deserve.

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 40 - Outdoor Adventure Therapy

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 40 - Outdoor Adventure Therapy

    Outdoor adventure therapy, also known as wilderness therapy, is a unique and effective form of therapy that involves using outdoor activities to help individuals overcome psychological and emotional challenges. This type of therapy is based on the idea that being in nature and engaging in physical activities can have a positive impact on mental health and well-being. In this article, we will explore the benefits of outdoor adventure therapy and how it can help individuals overcome their challenges.


    The basic premise of outdoor adventure therapy is that exposure to nature and engaging in physical activities can have a positive impact on mental health. The natural environment can help individuals reduce stress, improve mood, and gain a new perspective on their problems. In addition, engaging in physical activities can help individuals build self-confidence, self-esteem, and improve their physical health.


    Outdoor adventure therapy typically involves a combination of activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. These activities are chosen based on the individual's needs and interests. For example, if someone is struggling with anxiety, they may participate in activities that help them build self-confidence and reduce stress, such as hiking or meditation in nature. Alternatively, if someone is struggling with addiction, they may participate in activities that require physical exertion and challenge, such as rock climbing or whitewater rafting.


    One of the unique aspects of outdoor adventure therapy is that it often takes place in a group setting. Participants work together to achieve a common goal and support each other through the challenges. This group dynamic can help individuals build relationships, improve social skills, and provide a sense of community and belonging.


    Another benefit of outdoor adventure therapy is that it provides a break from the distractions and stresses of daily life. Participants are often disconnected from technology and the outside world, which allows them to fully immerse themselves in the experience. This break from daily life can provide a new perspective and help individuals gain clarity on their challenges.


    Outdoor adventure therapy can be particularly effective for individuals struggling with addiction, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. Studies have shown that outdoor adventure therapy can be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and improving self-esteem and social skills. In addition, participants often report feeling more connected to nature and experiencing a sense of renewal and hope.


    Outdoor adventure therapy is a holistic approach to treating mental health issues that has gained popularity in recent years. One of the reasons for its effectiveness is that it addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of the individual. This therapy involves learning new skills, building self-esteem, and overcoming fears, all while being in a natural setting. Here are some additional benefits of outdoor adventure therapy:


    · Improved Communication: In a group setting, participants must communicate effectively to complete tasks, plan activities, and navigate the wilderness. This type of communication can help individuals build better relationships and improve their social skills.


    · Increased Resilience: Outdoor adventure therapy requires participants to step out of their comfort zones and face new challenges. Overcoming these challenges can help individuals build resilience and develop coping mechanisms that can be applied to other areas of their lives.


    · Enhanced Self-Awareness: The natural setting and group environment can help individuals develop self-awareness and gain insights into their behaviors and thought patterns. This increased self-awareness can help individuals make positive changes in their lives.


    · Physical Fitness: Outd

    • 18 min
    Veteran Doctor - Episode 39 - Horse-Sense Healing: How Equine Therapy Outperforms Shrink Couches for Veterans

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 39 - Horse-Sense Healing: How Equine Therapy Outperforms Shrink Couches for Veterans

    Ah, equine therapy - where the four-legged, hay-munching therapists trot in to save the day for our battle-hardened veterans. These majestic animals have apparently decided that grazing on grass and winning races isn't enough, and now they want to help humans too. Who knew that these equine Einsteins could do more than just eat carrots and entertain kids at birthday parties?


    Ever thought that a horse would make a better therapist than the bespectacled, note-taking, and slightly judging human in the office? Well, as it turns out, that might not be such a far-fetched idea. Equine therapy gives our beloved veterans the chance to brush up on their horse whisperer skills while simultaneously addressing their emotional and psychological needs. Hey, who wouldn't trade a dreary office for a stable full of equine friends?


    Picture this: A burly veteran, fresh from the battlefield, suddenly finding solace in the company of a graceful, yet slightly sassy, horse. It's not your typical heartwarming movie plot, but rather the real-life story of equine therapy and how it's taking the mental health world by storm. Think of it as Mr. Ed meets Good Will Hunting, but with fewer apples and more emotional breakthroughs.


    Jokes aside, equine therapy, or "horse whispering for the emotionally wounded," has been shown to help veterans cope with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The treatment involves a combination of grooming, leading, and riding horses, which is a much more entertaining alternative to sitting in a stuffy office with a shrink. The bond formed between the veteran and the horse works wonders for trust-building and self-awareness, and the horse's gentle nature has a calming effect, unlike your over-caffeinated therapist.


    In this peculiar form of therapy, horses provide an intuitive understanding of our emotional state, reacting to subtle changes in body language, which can help veterans identify and process their feelings. Horses, unlike the in-laws, won't judge or criticize, allowing the veterans to open up and work through their issues at their own pace. It's a good thing these horses are so smart, or we'd have a bunch of emotional wrecks with great saddle skills.


    Equine therapy, as silly as it may sound, boasts some serious benefits, like reducing stress, promoting physical activity, and increasing self-confidence. Veterans get to escape the pressures of everyday life and connect with these big-hearted beasts in a relaxed, natural environment. And, let's be honest, who wouldn't rather hang out with a horse than a room full of jargon-spewing therapists?


    Horses have this magical ability to mirror human emotions and behaviors, making them the perfect partner for veterans struggling with emotional regulation. In fact, they're so good at it that some might think they've secretly been taking night classes in human psychology. The only downside? Your horse therapist might not be as skilled at delivering witty one-liners, but hey, we can't have it all.


    Equine therapy programs don't just stop at petting and whispering sweet nothings into the horse's ears. These sessions often include structured activities that help veterans with goal-setting, problem-solving, and teamwork. And no, you won't be asked to create a PowerPoint presentation on the benefits of oats versus hay, but you might learn a thing or two about trust and communication.


    While the idea of a horse being your therapist might seem a little absurd, these equine-centric programs are backed by science. Research shows that the gentle, non-judgmental nature of horses can help reduce symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety in veterans. Plus, let's face it, the whole experience just sounds a heck of a lot more interesting than sitting on a couch, discussing your feelings ad nauseam.


    You might think that horses are only good for pulling carriages or racing around tracks, but these majestic creatures are actually naturals at he

    • 18 min
    Veteran Doctor - Episode 38 - Sweet Tolerance: Veterans and Their Unwavering Patience with Civilians

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 38 - Sweet Tolerance: Veterans and Their Unwavering Patience with Civilians

    It's a well-known fact that veterans are famous for their endless patience and adoration for civilian life, right? Their infinite tolerance for our mundane, civilian problems is nothing short of miraculous. Let's take a moment to reflect on how gracefully they endure the unique trials and tribulations of civilian life, shall we?

    Ah, the joys of "What did you do in the military?" This might be the most cherished question for a veteran, who just can't wait to recount their experiences. When civilians pry into the deepest and darkest corners of a veteran's military life, it's no doubt met with sheer enthusiasm. Veterans are simply thrilled to have their military service dissected like an alien in a sci-fi movie.

    And who doesn't love the misguided war movie banter? Civilians, with their unmatched expertise in military strategy, are never afraid to debate the accuracy of Hollywood depictions. Veterans, on the other hand, just can't get enough of these conversations, grateful for the opportunity to hear opinions on things like bullet trajectories and hand-to-hand combat from those who have only experienced it through a screen.

    Furthermore, the priceless looks of bewilderment when a veteran mentions the word "deployment" are just the cherry on top. The subtle mix of confusion and curiosity that follows is a priceless interaction that veterans cherish deeply. The concept of leaving their families behind and putting their lives on the line for their country is, without a doubt, something every veteran is eager to chat about over a cup of coffee.

    We simply can't forget about the unsolicited advice and life tips that civilians generously offer. It's no secret that veterans are in dire need of guidance when it comes to life outside the military, right? Clearly, civilians have mastered the art of navigating adulthood, and their valuable insights are what keep veterans going in this strange and unfamiliar world.

    Let's also not forget about the numerous "Thank you for your service" moments. Sure, veterans appreciate genuine gratitude for their sacrifices, but who doesn't enjoy having their meal interrupted to engage in a public display of patriotism? After all, there's no better way to remind them of their time in the service than a random, forced encounter with a well-meaning stranger.


    But wait, there's more! Let's continue to bask in the glowing appreciation for our veterans' superhuman patience as they encounter the many joys of civilian life. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the perpetual delight veterans experience when they're asked to regale civilians with stories of their war injuries? There's nothing quite like rehashing a traumatic event while trying to enjoy a meal or drink at the local pub. It's evident that these conversations bring back fond memories that veterans long to share with complete strangers.

    And who can ignore the veteran's ability to laugh off tasteless military jokes or stereotyping? It's simply amazing how they can maintain their cool when someone makes light of their military service or lumps them into a generic, war-hardened category. Really, what better way to bond with a veteran than by poking fun at their career choice or making assumptions about their personality?

    Let's also discuss the thrill veterans must feel when attending a civilian job interview. Can you imagine the excitement of explaining their military training and experiences in a way that relates to the position they're applying for? And, of course, the cherry on top is when the interviewer asks, "So, how many people have you killed?" Nothing says "I value your past experiences and sacrifices" quite like that little gem of a question.

    Furthermore, we can't forget the joy veterans experience when people feel the need to criticize or question their service. There's nothing like having someone who's never worn a uniform tell you how they feel about the military or its actions. It's a h

    • 19 min
    Veteran Doctor - Episode 37 - Overcoming Adversity: A Veteran’s Journey Through Depression and Anxiety

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 37 - Overcoming Adversity: A Veteran’s Journey Through Depression and Anxiety

    Life after military service is a new beginning, often filled with challenges and opportunities. However, as a veteran, navigating the landscape of depression and anxiety can be a steep climb. In this article, we explore the complexities of mental health in the veteran community from the perspective of a veteran, touching on ways to cope and seek help in order to lead a fulfilling post-service life. Military life, a walk in the park, right? Who wouldn't love the thrilling experiences of combat and the pure joy of adjusting to a "normal" life afterward? In all seriousness, though, military service can leave indelible emotional scars on the minds of our beloved veterans. We're here to sarcastically admire the often overlooked yet genuinely prevalent issues of veteran depression and anxiety, their not-so-obvious causes, and the delightful cocktail of support and treatment options available.


    The "Small" Problem


    Depression and anxiety are just minor issues in the veteran community, aren't they? Well, not exactly. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs suggests that a whopping 1 in 3 veterans seeking treatment suffer from depression, anxiety, or both. Moreover, the National Center for PTSD says around 11-20% of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans experience PTSD. So, it turns out that these conditions are not "small" problems after all!


    Such "Unique" Causes of Veteran Depression and Anxiety


    Who would have thought that being a veteran could come with a unique set of stressors leading to depression and anxiety? Let's explore the oh-so-surprising factors that contribute to the mental health of our heroes:


    · Traumatic experiences: Veterans only deal with life-threatening situations, the death of comrades, and the horrors of war, but hey, no biggie, right?


    · Transition challenges: Who knew that adjusting to civilian life after service could be so darn difficult? It's just a simple matter of finding a new career, fitting into society, and completely changing one's routine!


    · Physical injuries: Injuries like traumatic brain injuries and chronic pain couldn't possibly affect someone's mental health. Oh, wait.


    · Loss of camaraderie: When veterans leave the service, they apparently leave behind that special bond with their military peers. Who could have guessed that losing this support system might lead to depression and anxiety?


    Strength in Adversity: The Stigma and the Struggle


    As a veteran, I can attest to the fact that acknowledging and discussing mental health issues is no easy task. The stigma surrounding mental health in the military community can make it difficult to open up and seek help. However, through honest conversation and vulnerability, we can break down barriers, encourage understanding, and pave the way for fellow veterans to receive the support they need.


    Support and Treatment Options: Spoiler Alert - They Exist!

    Veterans with depression and anxiety need not worry; they can always turn to these marvelous resources and treatments:


    · VA Mental Health Services: Our trusty Department of Veterans Affairs offers a delightful assortment of mental health services, from therapy to counseling and medication management.


    · Peer support programs: Vet Centers, Team Red, White & Blue, and the Wounded Warrior Project provide incredible support groups for those veterans struggling with mental health issues. Who wouldn't love to bond with others in the same boat?


    · Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT, the magical therapy that teaches you how to identify and modify your negative thought patterns and cope with the world. Hooray!


    · Medication: Pills, pills, and more pills! Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety.


    · Alternative therapies: Not a fan of traditional treatments? Don't fret! You can try meditation, yoga, acupuncture, or art therapy to help you on yo

    • 19 min
    Veteran Doctor - Episode 36 - Crossfit and Veterans

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 36 - Crossfit and Veterans

    CrossFit has been a transformative fitness movement for over two decades, drawing in people from all walks of life. Among these dedicated athletes, veterans have found a unique connection to the sport, embracing its values of perseverance, community, and mental fortitude. In this article, we will delve into the journey of a veteran CrossFit athlete, exploring how this demanding regimen has been a catalyst for growth, camaraderie, and resilience.


    The Military Connection: Shared Values and Discipline


    It's no coincidence that many veterans are drawn to CrossFit. There is a natural synergy between the military ethos and the values that CrossFit embodies. Both demand physical and mental toughness, resilience, teamwork, and discipline. These attributes are fundamental for success in military operations, and they transfer seamlessly to the CrossFit arena.


    For veterans, CrossFit provides an opportunity to continue challenging themselves in a familiar yet distinctly different environment. The workouts, or WODs (Workout of the Day), often incorporate elements reminiscent of military training, such as calisthenics, functional movements, and high-intensity intervals. The shared ethos of pushing beyond one's limits and striving for continuous improvement fosters a sense of camaraderie that many veterans find invaluable after transitioning from military service.


    Healing the Invisible Wounds: Mental Health and CrossFit


    CrossFit's emphasis on mental toughness also resonates with veterans, particularly those coping with the invisible wounds of service. The sport has been known to have a therapeutic effect on individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health challenges. The intense physical exertion of CrossFit workouts can help release endorphins, which in turn reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.


    Moreover, the sport encourages participants to confront their mental barriers, allowing them to learn valuable coping mechanisms for managing stress and negative emotions. The supportive community and bonds forged within a CrossFit gym can be instrumental in helping veterans feel connected and understood, providing a vital support network during their healing process.


    Adaptive Athletes: Overcoming Physical Limitations


    CrossFit's inclusive nature is exemplified in its commitment to adaptive athletes, who are individuals with physical disabilities or impairments. Many veteran CrossFit athletes have sustained injuries during their military service, but rather than letting these limitations hold them back, they find ways to adapt and excel within the sport.

    Adaptive athletes can participate in CrossFit competitions, with modifications tailored to their specific needs. These competitions not only demonstrate the resilience and determination of these athletes but also serve as an inspiration for others, showcasing the transformative power of CrossFit in overcoming adversity.


    CrossFit and Giving Back: Supporting the Veteran Community


    The CrossFit community has a strong tradition of giving back, particularly to the veteran community. Numerous charitable initiatives have been established within the sport, such as the "Hero WODs" (workouts dedicated to fallen soldiers) and fundraising events like "Murph," which honor and support veterans and their families. By participating in these events, veteran CrossFit athletes can maintain a connection to their military roots while supporting their peers in meaningful ways.


    CrossFit: A Path to Personal Growth and Empowerment


    As veterans embrace the CrossFit lifestyle, they often find that the sport's core tenets align with their own personal development goals. Many of these athletes have experienced the transformative power of CrossFit, witnessing firsthand how it fosters self-improvement and empowerment.


    Setting and Achieving Goals


    One of the hallmarks of CrossFit is its focus

    • 19 min
    Veteran Doctor - Episode 35 - Trauma Therapy

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 35 - Trauma Therapy

      Hello fellow veterans. So, as you may know many Veterans experience episodes of PTSD from their past traumatic experiences. Each of these traumas are unique and individualized based on your individual experiences and how you treat them. But what is the perfect way the treat these traumas. That is a very good question! There is no specific treatment that works for everyone. However, there are many different treatments available to help each Veteran in their own way and individualized needs. Here is one technique that is available, so please read on the see if this will work for you.
    Is trauma weighing you down in life? Have painful past experiences made it hard to trust others? Do you think you might have experienced trauma in your life but are not sure your experience counts? 
    Do You Ever Feel Defined by Your Past?
    If you’re dealing with trauma, you may suffer from PTSD symptoms like flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and feelings of hypervigilance. Whenever something reminds you of your traumatic experience, you may feel like you’re reliving it all over again, like the past will repeat itself endlessly. Maybe you ask yourself: Is my life ever going to change? Will things ever be different?  What is wrong with me?
    Trauma Takes Away Your Sense of Power!
    Trauma isn’t always obvious or easy to recognize. There may be experiences in your past—such as betrayal, rejection, or emotional abuse—that were traumatic without you even realizing it. Over time, these events may have caused you to develop negative beliefs about yourself. Perhaps you feel like you’re not good enough or that you’re unworthy of love. You may suffer from feelings of helplessness and a lack of power as if you’re unsafe in your own body. 
    Trauma takes away your sense of power, but counseling is a chance to get it back. It is in your nature as a human to seek safety and stability in your life. Here at True Peace Therapy, our goal is to help you resolve the pain of the past and turn towards living with meaning and purpose in the present. No matter what you have been through, healing and positive change are possible. 
    Many People Do Not Think Traumatic Experiences “Count” As Trauma! 
    Virtually everyone has suffered from trauma at some point in their life. Most traumatic experiences fall into two categories: Big T-trauma and little t-trauma. Big T-trauma includes events where a person’s life or bodily integrity is threatened. Examples include child abuse and neglect, rape, domestic violence, sexual abuse, war, combat-related trauma, serious car accidents, and natural disasters. 
    Little-t traumas, referred to as “subtle trauma,” are generally painful experiences that often cause trauma responses that people may not initially think of as traumatic. These include emotional abuse and neglect, financial insecurity, toxic workplaces, chronic illness, infidelity, divorce, or repeated rejection. Simply being around verbally or emotionally abusive people can be traumatizing. Unfortunately, many people don’t think such experiences “count” as traumatic, as they usually happen over long periods and are more subtle in how they affect the mind and body.
    Many Trauma Survivors Lack the Support They Need!
    People who suffer from trauma do not get the help they need. They may feel too ashamed of what happened to talk about it with anyone. They may tell themselves that although their experience was terrible, others “have it worse.” Moreover, many people who have experienced trauma frequently scan their environment for potential threats.  These defensive self-protection strategies often have a negative effect on their quality of life and relationships with others. 
    Without proper support, trauma survivors often self-medicate or turn to unhealthy habits to cope with their pain. They may isolate themselves, avoiding social activities and any situation that reminds them of the past. Although these behaviors may bring temporary relief, they don

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

This American Life
Dear Media
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13
Nick Viall