Congratulations, Dr. David Vandegrift!

Please join The Writers’ Exchange in congratulating David Vandegrift in the successful completion of his dissertation:

Lived Experience of Military Mental Health Clinicians: Provided Care to OIF and OEF Active Duty Service Members Experiencing War Stress Injury.

Military clinicians operated between contradictory military and psychology ethics while providing care to OIF/OEF service members experiencing war trauma. Clinician “duty” became bifurcated and therefore unrealized. For many clinicians, this impasse resulted in moral injury. Clinicians discussed a growing fissure between the military and a dissociated American society that prevents reintegration efforts.

To others writing dissertations, David offers the following ideas shared with him during his dissertation writing process:

Be courageous with your interpretations once you have set a firm foundation of previous research. Make meaningful contributions to knowledge in your particular arena of study. Invite dialogue, engage your critical thinking, and create an environment where understandings may unfold.

Vandegrift also shared the exciting upcoming steps in his academic and professional career:

In addition to studying for the EPPP, I am in the process of becoming a managing partner for a small private practice in Bellevue specializing in forensic assessment and treatment. Areas of focus include: domestic violence, family violence, sexual offending, parent child evaluations, cultural minority, and LBGTQ.

Academically, I am interested in applying findings from this participant-led dissertation for legislative advocacy. For instance, there is no dedicated demobilization transition program from active duty to civilian life. In the next few weeks, I plan to approach legislators with a transition concept that focuses on exit strategies and reintegration for all who serve or will serve in the military.


David Vandegrift, PsyD, Antioch University Seattle

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