A listening ear ... for military spouses

Rick and Jennie Sheffe at an Air Force awards ceremony. Jennie is a military spouse.

 

 

To say that military spouses face unique challenges in life is quite an understatement!  At the same time, the mental health of military spouses is critical to the service member’s job satisfaction and the way military children adjust to the never-ending transitions they encounter.  Military spouses are often the first to help others but hesitate to ask for help themselves. 

 

 

I get it, because I am also a military spouse. 

Jennie Sheffe in her teletherapy office in Pennsylvania. She does EMDR and therapy with couples and military spouses.

The lived experiences of military spouses are completely different for each person, so I will be the last person to generalize, “Because I felt this way, this is how you must feel.”  Nobody can say how you feel…except you. While some aspects of military life are common to all military spouses, like PCSing and deployments, the way we move through those things is highly individual, based on our unique constellations of family, values, beliefs, and life experiences.

Some spouses love the dynamic nature of this lifestyle and embrace it as their own mission as much as their spouse’s. Some have resigned themselves to tolerate it until their spouse can separate or retire. For some, the rich experiences of living all over the world makes everything worth it. For others, being far away from family turned out to be a lot harder than they thought it would be. Challenges of military spouse employment might work with your career field and goals, or it could be a horrendous perpetual headache.  I would venture a guess that for most of us, it’s all of those things at different times, or maybe even at the same time. Feeling the full spectrum of emotions about military life can be confusing. It keeps us riding that proverbial emotional roller coaster.   

You will never hear me say, “You knew what you were signing up for when you married your spouse” because I think it’s impossible to really know until you are in that situation. 

I entered this field because one of my husband’s deployments seriously rocked my world and I finally had to ask for help. It was important to me to find a therapist who understood the military lifestyle. I also wanted someone who would understand my Christian faith. I was unable to find such a unicorn in my area. While my non-military therapist was fantastic in seeking to understand what life was like for me, once I sorted out my own mental health I felt God calling me to step up and be someone who could help other military spouses. I set out to become the unicorn I was searching for.  

I don’t know where your struggle lies, but I am here to help. 

I work with women and couples, and I am actively invested in increasing my effectiveness in counseling for the issues that tend to be important to military spouses. I listen with care to understand the way military life has impacted you, your marriage, your family, and help you uncover hidden strengths to address any trouble spots and increase resiliency. I will honor your story and your sacrifices.   

Contact Jennie at jennie@sanctuarychristiancounseling.com or call 717-200-3158.