What Career Would Help Families of Soldiers Serving Overseas?

Military FamiliesIf you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and are seeking to enter a civilian career in the growing mental health field, then it is highly recommended that you consider earning a degree for former military that would offer a career to help families of soldiers currently serving overseas. Since military families relocate every two years on average, 68% of military children report high stress and one-third are at a high risk of functioning abnormally in social situations. As over two million children in the United States have one parent or both deployed at least once, there is a high demand for mental health providers to specialize in working with children of service personnel. The following are some of the best degree options for opening career opportunities in helping military spouses and children with a loved one serving overseas.

Social Work

Pursuing a degree in social work is an excellent option for former military personnel who are interested in helping military families adjust to deployment. Although a bachelor’s degree in social work can unlock entry-level positions with foundational knowledge, it is recommended that you pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW) for greater job responsibilities and more opportunities to specialize your studies. In fact, some of the nation’s accredited social work programs are now offering a unique concentration in military social work specifically for students seeking this career focus. Within the two to three-year program, you will also participate in an internship for gaining first-hand work experience working with families in your concentration.

Marriage and Family Therapy

When one unit of the familial system is serving overseas, it is common for the entire family to feel negative consequences from the psychological, emotional, social, and even financial burden of deployment. As a result, marriage and family therapists are in a high demand for addressing the unique challenges of military families impacted by service. Marriage and family therapists also can provide psychotherapy services to returning veterans who are attempting to transition into their families after active duty. Choosing an accredited marriage and family therapy (MFT) program can be the perfect choice for former military looking to help families facing unique challenges before, during, and after deployment, according to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Counseling Psychology

At the master’s and doctoral degree level, counseling psychology is another popular option for veterans seeking to help military families improve functioning with a focus on emotional, vocational, educational, social, developmental, and mental health-related concerns. Unlike clinical psychology programs that tend to center on working with clients with severe mental illnesses, counseling psychology degrees have a strong educational component for gaining a vast repertoire of useful therapeutic skills that can be applied to various situations. A counseling psychology degree can be beneficial for opening professional opportunities in providing family counseling services to the spouses and children of active duty military members.

Related Resource: Criminal Justice Degree

Overall, military families often struggle in their daily lives from disrupted relationships due to their frequent moves as well as stress at home from the deployment of a loved one. Unfortunately, the number of children who have suffered the loss a parent in a combat or non-combat related death has grown to over 10,200 over the last decade as well. If you have the calling to help families in the military cope with the stress of separation, be sure to consider earning a degree for former military that would offer a career to help families of soldiers currently serving overseas.