Warrior therapist: Vets treating vets

Donald R. Catherall*, Christopher Lane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The practice of using Vietnam veteran therapists to treat other Vietnam veterans with PTSD is examined in terms of the impact upon the client, the therapist, and the therapy. The roles of warrior and therapist rely upon different coping strategies which produces inherent conflicts. However, the integrated warrior therapist can help warriors to make the transformation to nonwarrior coping strategies which can allow them to make better use of psychotherapy. The practice of using therapists who are trauma survivors to treat other trauma survivors is discussed in terms of its advantages and disadvantages. Treatment recommendations include a modified stance, focus on the nature of the therapeutic alliance, and personal work on the therapist's own integration of the disparate identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


  • Vietnam veterans
  • countertransference
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • rites of passage
  • veteran therapists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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