Hello and thank you for visiting my business page! If you are a SEAL or a SEAL loved one, you may recognize the view in the picture above. It was taken on NAB Coronado in 2014. The student obstacle course can be seen just beyond the building on the left.
As I post this in summer 2022, I am building a small, one-woman business that focuses on the mental health needs of SOF. My business is based on my doctoral work; I spent 4 years speaking with almost 100 Navy SEALs and former Frogmen about their mental health, chronic pain, and trauma symptoms. Then in 2020, I learned about Operator Syndrome (OS), which is the umbrella term that encompases all of the symptoms I was talking to SEALs about, plus many more symptoms.
My approach to Operator care is a bit different than many others’ approaches, which is why I started Tactical Psychiatry. My goal is to create an organization through which I can work with other OS professionals and Operators. Now that OS is identified, my work is to mitigate the problem by finding solutions and providing interventions to the community. As a Doctor of Nursing Practice, this is what I am trained to do.
My work is successful because of the approach I take in developing solutions and working with the SOF community. My care practices and approach to care align with community-based participatory research. I never impose care or practices on the SOF community. Instead, my focus is on learning what is important to the SOF community or an individual Operator and then we work together to build research-supported and community-supported treatment/care options. A great example is that of chronic pain care. There are many evidence-based methods of chronic pain treatment, but my question to an Operator or group is what method will work best for them? Successful treatment is centered on the treatment being realistic, achievable, and agreeable with the patient.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of my work is that I was doctorally trained/prepared by working specifically with Navy SEALs. Almost all of my training as a Doctor of Nursing Practice has been focused on the care of SEALs and former UDT Frogmen. During that time, I had the pleasure of working briefly with Army Green Berets and Rangers as well. I am professionally immersed in the SOF community, and thus I am able to provide culturally competent and appropriate care. Equally important, though, is that I’ve worked with 1000s of psychiatric patients who are not Operators, which provides generalist experience to draw on when working with Operators.
Last, I want to address the fact that I am a nurse, not a physician. Nurses have very different care approaches than physicians, Doctors of Physical Therapy, and other types of care professionals, so an Operator’s time working with me will feel different than working with a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or any other health professional. I worked in bedside nursing for more than a decade before I began my doctoral work; I have seen it all and I’m pretty unflappable. So, while I have a warm approach with patients, I am also a “hard topic” kind of professional. I talk about the bad and the ugly as well as I talk about the good and fine. This comes through in a very direct communication style that is fused with humor and warmth.