Moving Forward: A Problem-Solving Training Program to Foster Veteran Resilience


This article discusses a program to build resilience and reduce emotional distress in veterans reintegrating into the civilian workplace.


It is vital for mental health professionals serving veterans to be able to address the full range of needs presented by returning veterans, including those that affect a veterans’ daily life (e.g., relationships, employment, and community functioning) but may not rise to the level of requiring specialty mental health care. This article describes the development and evaluation of an innovative Veterans Affairs program, Moving Forward, which focuses on building resilience and reducing emotional distress. Moving Forward is based on the principles of problem-solving therapy that have been adapted for use in a four-session, classroom-based training program for veterans. The program evaluation results indicate that Moving Forward is feasible, well-received by veterans, and yields improvements in social problem solving, resilience, and overall distress levels. Although there is a strong evidence base for problem-solving therapy in a range of clinical settings and with a variety of patient populations (Nezu et al., 2013), this represents the first effort to apply these principles in a program focusing on the readjustment and resilience of our nation’s veterans. We include several recommendations for building on these results, including the use of Internet-based training, inclusion of family members in training, and recommendations for research in this important area.

Full Reference

Tenhula, W. N., Nezu, A. M., Nezu, C. M., Stewart, M. O., Miller, S. A., Steele, J., & Karlin, B. E., 2014. Moving forward: A problem-solving training program to foster veteran resilience. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 45(6), 416-424.