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Joseph Bobrow
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Joseph Bobrow is the founder and president of the Coming Home Project, a non-profit organization of psychotherapists, veterans, and interfaith leaders, whose programs help Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, service members, and their families and caregivers alleviate the emotional, social and family, and moral injuries of war. The Coming Home model rose to the top in a recent study of reintegration programs and was the only approach that met all the criteria of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, and also had significantly positive outcome data. "Coming All The Way Home," documents this pioneering research on post-traumatic growth in a peer-reviewed journal of the American Psychological Association. Joseph is also a psychologist-psychoanalyst and a Zen master. In 2000, he founded Deep Streams Institute which offers Zen Buddhist practice; develops new integrative models of healing; and implements these models as it serves the community through the non-denominational Coming Home Project. Joseph's critically acclaimed book Zen and Psychotherapy: Partners in Liberation, and his other writings explore psychotherapy, Buddhism, and the interplay of community-based, psychologically and spiritually informed approaches to transforming trauma -- individually, relationally and culturally. He teaches throughout the United States and abroad.

Entries by Joseph Bobrow

The Familiar Stench of Hypocrisy on Veterans Mental Health Care

(9) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 5:51 PM

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing--after they've tried everything else."

But Churchill was wrong. He was actually being uncharacteristically optimistic. In the case of a recent DoD decision regarding the mental health of our service members, Churchill understates our capacity for doing the...

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John Kerry's 'Iraq Hangover' on 60 Minutes

(4) Comments | Posted October 1, 2013 | 9:29 AM

On 60 Minutes Sunday night, John Kerry said that we are living through "an enormous Iraq hangover." The American people felt betrayed; the evidence (for WMD) in Iraq was not there. Having "learned this lesson," he and President Obama "bent over backwards" to make a case that "could...

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Red Lines and Treasure

(0) Comments | Posted August 31, 2013 | 1:01 PM

Have you ever been in the desert? As a young seeker I did a walkabout and lived for a spell in a small oasis village in the Sahara. Hot days, cold night skies, brilliant with pulsating stars. Today, as the drum beats to a military strike on Syria grow louder,...

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Unreliable Sources: The Radicalization of Howard Kurtz

(5) Comments | Posted April 28, 2013 | 4:47 PM

I was shocked and dismayed by Howard Kurtz's unprofessional and closed-minded comments on his Reliable Sources show on CNN today regarding the coverage of the Boston bombing suspects. Neither of the well-researched articles in today's New York Times and Washington Post are claiming that...

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Learning From Marines About Military Suicides

(12) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 2:50 PM

Veteran military writer Tom Ricks posted an important blog on his Best Defense column in Foreign Policy. Researchers Dr. Frank Tortorello and Dr. William Marcellino, sponsored by the Marine Corps' Training and Education Command and Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning, did something novel. They listened to Marines,...

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Military Suicides Rise, Despite 900 Programs

(13) Comments | Posted March 23, 2013 | 12:00 AM

On March 12, I posted about Clay Hunt's suicide, covered on 60 Minutes. Now in testimony to Congress by the Pentagon's Defense Suicide Prevention Office, the thesis in my blog may be receiving confirmation. Jackie Garrick, acting director, and Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg, Army deputy chief...

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A Veteran's Suicide on 60 Minutes: Lessons Learned?

(68) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 4:34 PM

The 60 Minutes piece last Sunday on the life and death of Clay Hunt, a Marine who earned a Purple Heart serving in the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, demonstrated how much we have yet to learn about the epidemic of suicide in our returning troops and veterans....

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A History of Violence: Two

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 1:12 PM

What heals heavy trauma and loss? I watched the scenes from Newtown: people hugging, comforting, supporting one another. Connecting. We all witnessed and experienced the sudden shock and the utter helplessness. The shearing loss of loved ones and of meaning. And then people came together again, at the interfaith ceremony....

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A History of Violence

(17) Comments | Posted December 16, 2012 | 8:11 PM

Part One

Loved the film, but this here isn't a movie. The characters are not foreign terrorists we can track down and eliminate. This crisis defies simplistic analyses. We have met the enemy and he is indeed us. Month by month, year by year, we have become a culture of...

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Meditation and War Trauma

(2) Comments | Posted November 10, 2012 | 9:15 PM

We live in a culture of distraction. We text while walking, our heads buried in our phones, eyes fixed on a tiny screen, music beating in our ears, we plod along and into others. What's meant to improve efficiency and connect us often does neither. I especially like the guy...

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Mindfulness and War Trauma

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 5:40 PM

Part One

On the first evening of a Coming Home retreat, a former Marine officer told the group that someone had stolen his TV. I was worried for a moment but then everyone burst into laughter and I caught on. No TV in the rooms? Yikes!

We're taught that...

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'Atonement': A Veteran's Journey From Haunting to Reconciliation

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2012 | 9:31 PM

There is a powerful article in this week's New Yorker by reporter Dexter Filkins tracing the intersections, tragic and redemptive, among the lives of Filkins, Lu Lobello, a marine who served in Iraq, and the Kachadoorian family, Armenian Christians living in Iraq after the collapse of Saddam...

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An Open Letter to Rep. Jeff Miller

(3) Comments | Posted October 4, 2012 | 11:26 PM

In his recent blog, A Better Way Forward, Rep. Miller, Chairman, House Veterans Affairs Committee, raises several important points regarding the care we provide our veterans. First and foremost, he asks us to go outside our comfort zone and keep an "open mind." Here are a few...

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In PTSD Treatment, Pro-life vs. Pro-choice = Yes

(7) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 11:04 AM

What approaches truly support veteran wellness and healing from the ravages of war? In a New York Times blog, Tina Rosenberg describes some current "alternative" therapies for post-traumatic operational stress injuries. The name of the blog, "Fixes," is unfortunate for an article like this. Why? Because there is...

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Invisible Injuries of War: What Heals and Who's Listening?

(2) Comments | Posted August 7, 2012 | 9:47 AM

We all know the story of the Three Little Pigs: The house made of bricks proved to be the strongest. The flagship DoD facilities built by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Tex.,
and the National Intrepid...

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Veterans' Anguish and Post-Traumatic Growth

(2) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 10:02 AM

There's been a lot of talk lately about post-traumatic growth. Why should post-traumatic stress and all the accompanying angst be the only game in town? It is possible to grow through trauma; right? Yes and ... well, here goes. There is a tendency to say to people who are suffering...

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Military Suicide, Emotional Anguish and Healing

(19) Comments | Posted July 20, 2012 | 9:54 PM

In a recent study, the most frequent reason soldiers gave for attempting suicide was ... intense emotional pain. This has profound implications and, at the same time, it's the kind of thing that gives psychological research a bad name. I can understand somebody responding: "And mountains are tall...

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Military Suicides, Stigma and the Elephant in the Room

(40) Comments | Posted July 16, 2012 | 6:43 PM

The cover of this week's Time magazine is dramatic: "One a Day." Every day one military service member commits suicide. The stories are heart wrenching. The two keys that emerge are overcoming stigma and adequate treatment resources. A new bill authored by Senator Patty Murray, the Mental Health...

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For Veterans It's "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs." But Wait, There's More!

(7) Comments | Posted July 10, 2012 | 6:16 PM

Today it's critical for our returning troops and veterans to get good jobs and to utilize their experience in military service to make the significant contributions they can. Likewise for military spouses. But as important as getting a job is, I'm not sure we take the time to consider the...

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Meds Not Enough to Bring Down Rate of 1 Vet Suicide Per Day

(64) Comments | Posted June 14, 2012 | 3:00 PM

He was remote and suspicious, and I could feel how depressed he was.

A heavy set Iraq veteran, he came with his wife, who stayed close at all times. But he was not emotionally responsive to her, or to anyone for that matter. On the third evening of the...

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