How Focus Works
FOCUS works with military families and couples to increase understanding as to how separations and transitions impact individual family members and the family as a whole. Families also learn how to manage the impact of these challenges and how to become even stronger.
During FOCUS training sessions, each family member builds a timeline of important events, transitions and challenges. When combined into the “Family Timeline,” the entire family’s journey takes shape. This creates greater understanding and empathy among family members as they share their stories.
FOCUS sessions provide families with activities and techniques to practice and master new skills, including: Emotional Regulation, Communication, Problem-Solving, Goal-Setting and Managing Deployment Reminders.
Participation in FOCUS is voluntary, confidential, and is not reported in the chain of command.
Participation in the 8-session resiliency training is very flexible. We serve the needs of individual families and can accommodate your schedule by adjusting the number of training sessions. We also have family friendly hours. If both parents are unable to participate, we welcome one parent or caregivers to bring the family to FOCUS.
As the military has changed, so have the demands on military families and couples. Today, service members can face multiple and rapid deployments away from their families. Even when they are not deployed, service members and their families can be faced with other challenges (e.g., long shift hours, TADs away from families, and other separations). As a result, it is typical to see:
- Changes in family routines and family members' responsibilities
- Children becoming clingy, defiant, sad, or withdrawn
- A breakdown in communication between family members
- Family members feeling disconnected from each other
- Difficulty readjusting when the service member returns home
- The home-front parent or caregiver feeling more stressed, anxious, or irritable
- The service member becoming concerned about missing important events and milestones in their children's lives
The answer: Families that have positive interactions on a regular basis and communicate effectively with each other can lessen these effects. FOCUS offers family and couples sustainment training which teaches families how to respond to common reactions and how to increase positive interactions.
- Assists families to develop a tool box of family resiliency skills
- Enhances family communication and support
- Provides developmentally appropriate education to parents to monitor the impact of deployment and separation on children