Life-review and PTSD community counseling with two groups of Vietnam war veterans

Lori R. Daniels, James Boehnlein, Phillip McCallion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Vietnam War veterans are aging into their late 60s and early 70s. In spite of an increase in older treatment-seeking veterans, none of the recommended PTSD psychotherapy techniques emerging within the past 3 decades includes integration of a life span perspective. In an effort to bridge the gap between PTSD and life span perspective interventions, this article describes an exploratory random-assignment, partial cross-over feasibility study that compared 2 different sequences of life review and PTSD group therapies with 2 groups of Vietnam War veterans (total N = 9) within a community-based Veterans Affairs Readjustment Counseling Vet Center. Participants were assessed for PTSD symptoms, morale, satisfaction with life, and late-onset stress symptomology. Types of reminiscence factors (as scored on the Reminiscence Function Scale RFS) were also observed for significant changes from pretest to posttest. Findings suggest that the sequence of life review attendance before regular PTSD group therapy may contribute to clinically and statistically significant reduction in PTSD and late-onset stress symptoms, and improved life-satisfaction. Both group conditions also appeared to have some slight benefit for morale. By better elucidating the relationship among reminiscence, life review, and PTSD, these findings may contribute to more effective services for older veterans participating in Vet Center and VA PTSD programs nationwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 3 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Life review
  • Psychotherapy
  • PTSD
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Nursing(all)


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