Did you know that before I pivoted to being a full-time mom and freelance writer, I worked as a mental health researcher for the Department of Veteran Affairs?
It’s true! I wanted to be a mental health researcher because I believe a scientific approach is the best tool we have to help chip away at the suffering that accompanies mental health disorders on a broad scale. My primary role at the VA was to talk to Veterans, their support person, and their therapists to learn more about why the best treatments we have right now weren’t working well for these Veterans.
I was part of an ambitious, $600,000 study. The logistics were tough — we sent surveys to 379 Veterans at four different VA hospitals across the country. The team is still interpreting the results and articulating the findings. In fact, even though I left the VA in 2016, I’ve continued to work on papers relating to the study. One research paper that we started working on more than six years ago in 2014 (when I was pregnant with my oldest son!) was just published by the Journal of Traumatic Stress last month. JTS is a well-regarded clinical psychology journal published on behalf of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
The paper itself is pretty dense and focuses on psychometrics (the science of measuring things related to mental health), but if that’s your kind of thing, I think you’ll enjoy reading what we discovered in A Theory of Planned Behavior Scale for Adherence to Trauma‐Focused Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Treatments.