Date of Completion
Open Access Capstone
Master of Arts (MA)
After nearly five years working with youth offenders, addressing the trauma and stress of their lives in gangs and prison I was ready for my current job as a municipal Director of Veterans Services. These positions have given me the opportunity to start addressing posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] that has plagued me for over 20 years, since I flew in the US Navy. Mutual Mondays is a forum I created which brings together veterans using the Dialogue Process to empathically, intellectually, and communally address the effects of participation in armed conflict. Mutual Mondays has been a productive vehicle for veterans connecting with community, moving out of isolation, and starting to recognize, as well as act on opportunities to improve overall health. Based on my personal experience as a veteran and involvement with Mutual Mondays, I believe that the complexity of issues facing the invisibly wounded and the resistance to seek therapy underscore the need for alternative methods of helping them. In this synthesis paper I set the scene with some vignettes, describe how PTSD as a personal and wider social problem led to the idea of mutual support that is central to the Dialogue Process and its implementation in Mutual Mondays. I relate parallel explorations of alternative theories and practices, including my own recent Cognitive Behavioral Therapy treatment as a veteran. With a view to ongoing development, I introduce some working themes, including CANVAS, PEACE, USA, ECDT and disciplined writing and research structures, as well as the challenges of evaluating Mutual Mondays and its potential for use with other populations. To close I revisit the opening scenes. In retrospect I see that the impetus for this project was the desire to learn if a dedicated person or group of people can start a community grassroots effort to serve populations in need that can be replicated easily to other communities if the concept is validated through experience. Going forward, I am interested to know if the wave of momentum will attract care-givers and those in need; and if it is possible to get those served to be in a position to be the care-givers, in a perpetual model of mutual support, positively influencing those giving and receiving.
Johns, Michael, "Mutual Mondays, PTSD and Dialogue Process with Veterans of Armed Conflict: Becoming a Facilitator, and Healing Along with Participants" (2011). Critical and Creative Thinking Capstones Collection. 158.