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CSSP Adds Issues of Women Returning from Combat to its Treating the Invisible Wounds of War Series on

July 19, 2010

Treating the Invisible Wounds of War Series: Part 3 - Issues of Women Returning from Combat

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Women military service members returning from deployment to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan face gender-specific readjustment issues as they transition back to their local communities. This workshop will provide an overview of the health/mental health concerns of women veterans within the context of military culture, gender-specific roles, available support resources and effective treatments.


- Explain the history of women in combat and the scope of the problem
- Describe the importance of military culture
- Identify psychological issues unique to women returning from combat
- Recognize child development issues for women returning from combat
- Discuss gender-specific treatments
- Describe mental health care resources including Tricare insurance


Harold Kudler, MD
Associate Director, Clinical
Mental Health Coordinator, VISN 6
Durham VA Medical Center
Associate Clinical Professor,
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,
Duke University

Dr. Kudler trained at Yale and is Associate Clinical Professor at Duke. He has received teaching awards from the Duke Department of Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychoanalytic Association. Dr. Kudler coordinates mental health services for a three state region of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and, from 2000 through 2005 co-chaired VA’s Special Committee on PTSD, which reports to Congress. He founded the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies’ (ISTSS) PTSD Practice Guidelines taskforce and has served on the ISTSS Board of Directors. He co-led development of a joint VA/Department of Defense guideline for the management of posttraumatic stress. Dr. Kudler is Associate Director of the VA's Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) for Deployment Mental Health.

LCDR Erin Simmons, Ph.D
Staff Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Erin Simmons earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Adelphi University and completed her clinical internship at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. She has served as a psychologist in the Navy for the past 7 years, including tours at Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan; and Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, NC. Dr. Simmons has also been deployed twice to Iraq: to Fallujah for 7 months in 2004-2005; and to Ramadi for 7 months in 2008. Dr. Simmons currently serves as the Program Supervisor for 2 intensive outpatient programs addressing current major mental health concerns, including PTSD and general mental health. She is the author/editor of the 2 workbooks that are currently being used by these programs. Dr. Simmons is also the Team Leader of the Caregiver Occupational Stress Team and the Coordinator of the Trauma Care Program at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune.

Elizabeth Marks

Ms. Marks is currently a student at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work, anticipating graduating with an MSW in May and pursuing clinical work with veterans, service members, and their families. A 2002 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, she completed three sea deployments to the Arabian Gulf and throughout the Pacific. She also spent nine months in Baghdad, Iraq in 2007 as a Counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Officer for an Army Field Artillery battalion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

Kristy Straits-Troster, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Straits-Troster is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University as well as Assistant Clinical Director of the VA Mid-Atlantic Region’s Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) based in Durham, NC and focused on post-deployment readjustment and mental health. Her clinical and research experience includes PTSD treatment and prevention of chronic illness. Dr. Straits-Troster is currently conducting a Department of Defense-funded study on implementation of a multi-family group intervention for veterans with traumatic brain injury and their families.

Target Audience:

Mental health providers and other interested health care professionals

2 Hours

Credit Type(s):
2.0 Contact Hours NBCC (Provider #5470), 2.0 Contact Hours, 0.2 CEU

Cost: $0.00