Event Details

An introduction to working with transition, shame and guilt in the armed forces community

Presented by Nick Wood and Mick Fleming (The Military Human), Pav Taylor (Help for Heroes) & Kevin Meares (Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre)

About the event

This online, participative event will be held on Zoom, and has been organised by the Veterans and the Armed Forces Community Special Interest Group (SIG). For more details on the SIG please see here.

A certificate of attendance will be issued for 4 x hours CPD. The event will not be recorded.

Registration closes - Midday on Tuesday 19th March. Places are limited though so book early to avoid disappointment.

Understanding the combat experience of veterans may be very difficult to comprehend for some. However, understanding military culture, ethos, values, sense of belonging and transition to civilian life, can be successfully explored by following a timeline approach and recognising the intense emotional human journey undertaken when entering such a unique environment. This event will explore different aspects of the experience of veterans transitioning into and out of the armed forces communities and will use psychological models and evidence as a framework to understand common difficulties of members of the armed forces community.

Despite advances in our understanding of mental health issues among military forces, a large proportion of military personnel continue to exhibit deployment-related psychological issues. Recent work has identified symptoms of guilt and shame related to moral injury as contributing significantly to combat-related mental health issues. (Nazarov A, Jetly R, McNeely H, Kiang M, Lanius R, McKinnon MC).

This event will help practitioners to consider the experience of military training and the values and beliefs that are fostered through this which may affect the armed forces community’s engagement with therapy and services. Although not a homogenous group, veterans in general have a difficult relationship with seeking help and trust within therapy. Understanding of the experience which leads to such rules and beliefs will help CBT practitioners to recognise and explore such themes within their practice.

As a result of a survey that Dorset NHS Talking Therapies service conducted through their veteran’s lead, one theme that emerged in terms of what therapists would like to feel more confident with was shame and guilt within PTSD or 'moral injury'. Kevin Meares will be sharing CBT specific clinical knowledge and his own experiences of working with this in the veteran’s community.

The armed forces community consists of a range of people of all backgrounds, reference will be made to military ethos and military values and the impact of those upon people who have had the 'alternative experience', examples of which are contained in the recent report by Lord Etherton.

Learning outcomes

- Understand how military culture and values leads to themes of beliefs and rules for living within the armed forces community

- Understand the impact of this experience on those who may have felt excluded or bullied due to protective characteristics

- Improve understanding of working with shame and guilt within PTSD contrasted with fear

About the presenter(s)

Nick Wood (MSc FHEA) - Armed Forces and Uniformed Services Manager
Nick served in the Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm) and saw active service during the Falklands War in 1982. He served 25 years in HM Prison Service and was awarded the Butler Trust HRH Princess Royal Award (2010) for services to Veterans after creating the Veterans in Custody Support model which he still supports with staff training to this day. He joined YSJU in 2012 and played a significant role in YSJU gaining the MOD ERS Gold Award in 2021.

Nick has provided the Military Human CPD for HMPPS, NHS Op Courage (Veterans mental health services), NHS Trusts, MOD, Office for Veterans Affairs, Military Charities and Local Authorities with 5000 staff having received the training since 2012. In 2018, he was nominated by Forces in Mind Trust (FIMT) as their Soldiering On Awards (SOA) candidate and is now a judge on the SOA panel.

Recently, Nick contributed to the Office for Veterans Affairs supporting veterans and families’ public awareness campaign. Other ongoing projects include working with the MOD Defence Transition Services (DTS) to explore delivery of a pre-discharge emotional adjustment briefing, supporting NHS Op Courage teams, developing an online digital Military Human CPD and continuing support for HMPPS CFO. He has briefed the Government APPG Armed Forces group, NHS Armed Forces patient voice group and NHS England Armed Forces senior exec board.

Nick has an extensive research and impact report portfolio with recent international interest due to the person-centred approach which can be applied to other militaries outside of the UK.

Mick Fleming - Armed Forces and Uniformed Services Officer
Mick served in the British Army (Royal Signals), completing operational tours in Iraq (1991), Bosnia (1998), Iraq (2003) and finally in Afghanistan (2010) before retiring from service in 2014. His career, spanning over 34 years, included periods of service with both Airborne Forces and Commando Forces, and it was these experiences that shaped the direction he took in his career, focussing on the training and development of teams and individuals. Experience complimented by Post Graduate qualifications in Strategic Leadership and Management, and Executive Coaching and Mentoring.

Since retirement from the armed forces, Mick has worked as a manager, trainer, and coach, within North Yorkshire Police, the private, and 3rd sectors. Most recently working for a national military charity as the Recovery College Delivery Manager within the Personnel Recovery Centre in Catterick Garrison.

Mick continues to directly support the veterans’ community, alongside his work at YSJU, as a facilitator and coach within the Help for Heroes Pathfinder programme, helping wounded, injured or sick veterans learn more about themselves as well as identifying opportunities that exist for the future.

After an extremely successful career in the armed forces, Mick has first-hand experience of the process of transitioning and resettlement and understands fully the tremendous challenges that navigating this chapter in life can present.

Kevin Meares
In the second half of our event Kevin Meares focusses on working on shame and guilt within PTSD amongst the armed forces community.

Kevin is a consultant clinical psychologist. He completed his doctoral training in clinical psychology in 1997 and his Diploma in cognitive therapy in 2000. He worked within a specialist tertiary level CBT Centre for 21 years where he developed a special interest in PTSD and trauma. More recently he worked in staff wellbeing. Kevin is an experienced supervisor and trainer. Together with Professor Mark Freeston he co-authored the self-help book Overcoming Worry and Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

Kevin is an accredited BABCP trainer, supervisor, and therapist. He is also an EMDR Consultant and is part-trained in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

Pav Taylor
We are also joined by Pav Taylor, a peer supporter and facilitator with Help for Heroes recovery college. Pav will be sharing his own lived experience of service, injury, discharge, and mental health in this event.


By registering on this BABCP event you accept the following terms and conditions:

All cancellation requests must be made in writing by emailing  workshops@babcp.com

Online workshops and webinars
An event booking cancelled up to 5 days prior to the scheduled event will receive a full refund.

No refunds will be granted if a cancellation is made fewer than 5 days prior to the scheduled event, or for failure to attend.

Online Event
22 Mar 2024
SIG: Veterans and the armed forces community
50.00 GBP (ex. VAT) - BABCP Member
65.00 GBP (ex. VAT) - Non-Member

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