Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Tim Reagan


Although all U.S. military service members eventually return to civilian life, whether they serve 20 years and retire through the military or serve a few enlistments before making a career change, the unique challenges that come with the military to civilian transition are largely overlooked, particularly the accessibility of mental health services during this period. Commonly referred to as separating from the military or “getting out” amongst service members, this stage from active duty to veteran status involves a significant adjustment in lifestyle and responsibilities. Potential gaps in health insurance and income, relocating, supporting their family, and aligning with a new identity in an entirely different workforce are only a few stressors commonly experienced by those in the military to civilian transition. Further research focused on this transitional period, in addition to breaking the stigma on mental health will encourage veterans to seek mental health services if needed and help their families, coworkers, and clinicians learn how to best support them. This literature review explores the challenges and needs expressed by newly separated veterans, the attitude towards mental health in the military culture that consequently creates barriers in seeking care, and how nontraditional options such as teletherapy and art therapy can offer unique solutions for veterans who desire mental health services during civilian reintegration.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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