Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Kelley Pattison

Second Advisor

Andrew Morgan

Third Advisor

Robert Ryder


The United States is home to 18.8 million military veterans as of 2015 (United States Census Bureau, 2015). Eleven to twenty percent of veterans from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) annually (US Department of Veterans Affairs, 2007). This statistic has been on the rise since previous wars and most of the veterans who have met the criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD do not seek help (US Department of Veterans Affairs, 2007). From 1999 to 2004, the rate of veterans reporting PTSD grew from 120, 265 to 215,871 which is a 79.5% increase (Rosenheck & Fontana, 2007). These traumas can stem from combat operations, peacekeeping operations, violent assaults, prisoner of war experiences, terrorist attacks, or torture (Dhladhla & Van Dyk, 2009). PTSD can be a debilitating disease that affects the veteran, their family and the overall community. It can hinder work capabilities, create conflicts with relationships at home, and contribute to difficulty parenting (Gewirtz et al., 2010). This can leave veterans feeling emotionally detached and isolated from life. However, there are many alternative therapies that can help a veteran cope and re-integrate back into society without the use of medication.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted