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Outcomes of a Five-Day Warrior Renew Retreat to Reduce Symptoms Related to Military Sexual Trauma for Women Veterans

Abstract

This program evaluation examines outcomes of a five-day workshop based on the Warrior Renew program to address symptoms related to military sexual trauma delivered as a therapeutic retreat. The content of the workshop addressed salient aspects of military sexual trauma including anxiety and triggers; anger and resentments due to injustice, betrayal, and lack of closure; self-blame; and interpersonal factors such as relationship patterns and healthy relationship skills. Twenty female veterans participated in the workshop, of which 18 opted to complete pre- and post-workshop assessments including the Brief Symptom Inventory, Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory, and open-ended questions on a post-workshop evaluation. Participant scores reflected significant decreases on symptoms and posttraumatic negative thinking, with large to very large effect sizes. Open-ended comments revealed themes of appreciating workshop content, finding comradery with other women veterans, and enjoying the retreat context. Participants felt the retreat format accelerated their learning as they could fully focus on their healing experience. Results suggest this workshop delivered as part of a retreat was a viable therapeutic option for these veterans, and formal research may be warranted.

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Funding

Lori S Katz and Gina Jensen were funded by Omega to deliver the workshop. However, no funding or financial support was received for analyzing findings or preparing this manuscript.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

LSK and GJ contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by LSK. The first draft of the manuscript was written by LSK and both authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Lori S. Katz.

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Conflict of interest

Lori S Katz, authored the Warrior Renew workbook. There are no other known conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethical Approval

This project was a program evaluation not formal research. Data was collected for quality assurance and to improve operations. It is clearly stated in the manuscript that this is a program evaluation.

Consent to Participate

Stated in the manuscript, participation in data collection was voluntary, anonymous, and had no bearing on participation in the workshop.

Consent to Publish

Stated in the manuscript, was the conversation that the outcomes could be published in the science literature and by Omega. If someone did not want their data published, they had the option to either voice that option, or not participate.

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Katz, L.S., Jensen, G. Outcomes of a Five-Day Warrior Renew Retreat to Reduce Symptoms Related to Military Sexual Trauma for Women Veterans. J Contemp Psychother (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-022-09545-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-022-09545-8

Keywords

  • Sexual trauma
  • Women veterans
  • Military sexual trauma
  • Group therapy
  • Retreats