"I believe that every veteran should be exposed to the Three Principles during discharge from the service, not just those with PTSD, because the message I received from the training was 'Coming Home to Peace' inside of myself."
- Beverly Kobie, US Army
Center for Sustainable Change was able to offer a small pilot version of its THRIVING vs Surviving veterans program in Charlotte, NC, in April, 2016. Beverly was the only female vet in the group of five. She came to the three-day event with a lot of skepticism, after years of traditional and non-traditional treatment for PTSD. In the quiet, caring environment of our talks about the Principles, she heard her own wisdom. Today, she is a supporter, ready to advocate for anything Center for Sustainable Change can do for veterans.
The program we first envisioned, a university-supported, well-researched program offered to groups of veterans over time in North Carolina, however, did not work out. It turned out to be very difficult to recruit veterans who met our research criteria, so we started late with a very small pilot to test our plan. Meanwhile, the owners of the venue that had supported our doing this work in Charlotte changed strategic direction and no longer wanted to focus on veterans.
Looking for other opportunities, we found that an organization with which I work in Bradenton, Florida, planned to partner with Goodwill Industries there to offer a mentoring program for veterans. After a joint planning process, it has worked out that I will be one of three mentors offering their own sequential groups to veterans.
Each of the groups will consist of six 1½-hour sessions, offered weekly, with opportunities for participants to ask for and be scheduled for independent mentoring if they so desire. Those who seek additional independent mentoring can be identified on the post-tests. Initially, the groups will be limited to 12 participants, since one of the presenters is not comfortable with groups larger than that. Over time, group sizes may change.
Goodwill has raised sufficient funds to support this program for a year of groups, offered one after another. The first group started on October 12, 2016. Being the second presenter in the series, I will start my Principles-based group this month.
While this is not the research opportunity we had originally intended, it could serve as a pilot study. However, since the veterans don't pay anything for the group, and there's no attendance taken, there may not be a consistent, "core" group of people who will have attended all of the groups. We do need a core group for the pre- and post-tests for our research, so this could be an issue.
It will probably be a full year before we know how/if the research process will work out. In the meantime, we are continuing to seek additional opportunities to advance Three Principles research while also helping veterans to learn and gain a deeper understanding of the Three Principles and their own innate health. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress.