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Joseph Bobrow
Joseph Bobrow is the founder of 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. Joseph is a psychoanalyst, community activist, and Zen master of 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

What to Do When You're Not Bombing: Think for a Change

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 9:37 PM

I often disagree with New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. But with his latest column, he's made a contribution to our malfunctioning political culture: He demonstrates self-reflection, a good faith effort at honesty, and relative freedom from the penchant for politically correct, "do something" tactics of knee-jerk violence....

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Dosey Doe to War: It Never Gets Old

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 5:41 PM

To understand how unreliable earnest statements of good intentions can be, consider this. Speaking on Veterans Day, November 11, 2014, at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said honoring the nation's troops includes questioning the policies that send them to war:

"The wall reminds us to...

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Slip Sliding Away

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 6:29 PM

"The closer your destination the more you're slip sliding away."

Did Simon and Garfunkle ever nail it.

ISIS is cruelly and provocatively murdering innocents. Naturally we are appalled and outraged. They must be brought to justice. Revenge, however, has proved to be quite a corrosive fuel for foreign policy...

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Omerta at the VA: Breaking the Spell of Silence and Intimidation

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 9:19 AM

A June 15, 2014 article in the New York Times details how VA administrators routinely punished employees who spoke out in the interest of improving patient care. This is an important step in breaking the iron grip of a pervasive culture of "silence and intimidation" at VA. The...

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Transforming VA's Toxic Culture

(9) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 7:57 PM

The crisis at VA has now reached a peak. Can President Obama seize the opportunity to initiate and catalyze real change -- meaning transforming the systemic incompetence and corruption at VA and creating a culture that supports the many employees whose dedicated, skillful and innovative efforts have gone unsupported or...

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VA Mess a Team Effort -- Cleanup Must Be Too

(10) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 7:43 PM

It's not all on them. Yes, the VA is broken. Yes, it's a paranoid system where the Secretary's right hand man undermines the boss's directives, calling them just "politics" to the top brass. Where a facility is instructed by its manager in tactics to avoid getting on "the bad boy...

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More VA Changes, More VA Is Broken

(10) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 1:27 PM

Last Thursday I watched the lengthy hearings of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Secretary Shinseki said he was "mad as hell," and those who testified seemed concerned if not outraged at reports that some VA's had "cooked the books" regarding veteran wait times and covered up secret waiting...

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The Familiar Stench of Hypocrisy on Veterans Mental Health Care

(9) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 4:51 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 | 8:29 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 | 12:01 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 | 3:47 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 | 1:50 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 22, 2013 | 11:00 PM

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 | 3:34 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 | 12:12 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 | 7:11 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 | 8:15 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 | 4:40 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 | 8:31 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 | 10:26 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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