Humans long for connection. Part of the human condition, however, seems to involve periods of feeling “disconnected,” or, less than ideally connected to that which is beyond ourselves and our singular experience. Whether these periods of feeling “disconnected” are momentary or lengthy, they are most commonly experienced as disconcerting, disturbing, unnerving. In their most extreme manifestations, periods of “disconnection” are experienced as profound forms of trauma and/or psychosis. Presently, 18 soldiers a day suicide [in the U.S.] upon return to U.S. soil and “civilian life,” more than deaths on the “front lines.” Why is the “transition” so difficult such that these individuals choose suicide once “home”? What can we all do, as a country, within our communities, as families to help these courageous individuals come home to healthy and positive “connections” once they are done with “active duty”? How can we all help “re-connect” with returning military personnel such that “coming home” is something worth staying for? And, such that their experience can help and benefit us all? I wish to begin, and continue to engage in a dialogue in which we can all explore how to support our military personnel in “coming home” healthfully.
Sherri has previously served as Senior Clinician and Intensive Psychotherapist with Windhorse Community Services in Boulder, Colorado and as Co-Chair of the Contemplative Psychology Department of the Naropa Institute. In her work with Windhorse Community Services in Boulder, Colorado, she helped individuals recover from psychosis in home environments with the support of therapeutic teams. She also worked as a private practice Contemplative Psychotherapist, with a special interest in people struggling with diversity dynamics in social systems. As a practitioner of Buddhist meditation for over 30 years, Sherri finds Buddhist practices, teachings and views to be invaluable in informing her work and supporting her personal development and compassionate relationship to the world.