Curriculum-Driven, Peer-Led Support
As families transition from active-duty military life, to post-service life, they experience a multitude of changes that can include geographic relocation, navigating new career and educational pursuits, family reintegration, new mental and physical healthcare needs, and the re-establishment of community supports. The adjustment to civilian or post-service life requires hard work from the entire family and can be a source of stress that leads to interpersonal struggles within the family.
As peers ourselves, we understand the value and benefit of strong supportive communities that offer peer-based guidance and understanding to help address the unique challenges of post-service family life. Out of this understanding, the Veteran Spouse Resiliency Group (V-SRG) Program was developed in 2017, as a curriculum-driven, peer-led support group for the spouses/partners of transitioning and post-service veterans. These groups provide a safe space for peers to come together, share their stories, successes, and challenges, lean on one another for support and guidance, and form lasting bonds that they can rely on well after the group ends.
Our groups focus on helping participants prioritize their own wellness, and our program evaluation has shown that spouses who complete the group, experience an increase in their quality of life, self-care practices, and social support, as well as a decrease in mental health symptoms such as anxiety and depression. This program was designed for veteran spouses, by veteran spouses, and has evolved over the years based on program evaluation, and participant and leader feedback to ensure the curriculum addresses the topics you need it to, in the way you need it to!
The V-SRG program is offered through three different models to ensure that program participants can interact with the curriculum and receive the support they need based on their schedules and availability. All three models are offered in both in-person and virtual formats, with virtual offerings open nationally (unless otherwise specified), and in-person offerings throughout the state of Texas. Participants can take part in our traditional 12-Week groups, attend a V-SRG Mini-Series, or pop into our one-time Solo Session offerings. Learn more about each program model below:
As social work researchers and veteran spouses ourselves, we strongly believe in involving our communities in all research and program development efforts. As such, the Veteran Spouse Network adheres to the participatory action research philosophy, engaging our community in program development to ensure we design programs that truly meet the needs of those they intend to serve.
In line with that philosophy, the V-SRG curriculum was initially developed by conducting focus groups with veteran spouses to better understand their experiences, challenges, and needs, in order to inform curriculum and program development. When the first edition of the program was piloted in 2018-2019, program evaluation and feedback surveys were administered to all leaders and participants to ensure the program was positively impacting participants as designed, and to gather feedback on needed improvements. Today, the curriculum is in its 6th edition, with curriculum updates still drawing from the participant and leader feedback to ensure the program evolves as required by our network.
The V-SRG curriculum is designed to facilitate group discussion across a variety of topics that are unique to the veteran spouse/partner experience, where participants can share their challenges, strategies, and successes, while both receiving and providing support and guidance to their peers. While the majority of the curriculum is discussion-based, sessions also include educational content, skill-building exercises, activities, and conversation sparks in the form of videos and excerpts.
Session 1: Taking Care of Ourselves
Session 2 : Sharing Our Stories
Session 3 : Setting Goals
Session 4 : The Lingering Effects of Service
Session 5: Trauma, Secondary Trauma & Compassion Fatigue
Session 6: The Invisible Wounds of War: TBI & PTSD
Session 7 : The Invisible Wounds of War: Moral Injury, Addiction, & Suicidality
Session 8: Seeking Help
Session 9 : Love & Relationships
Session 10 : Our Kids
Session 11 : Life Transitions
Session 12 : Moving Forward
The V-SRG program is designed for the spouses/partners of transitioning and post-service veterans, as the curriculum topics are specific to post-service life. To be eligible for the V-SRG program, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be the spouse/partner of a post-service veteran, OR
- Be the spouse/partner of an active-duty servicemember who is within 1 year of separating from the military
- Commit to attending all 12 sessions (for the traditional 12-week groups), barring any unforeseen emergencies.
- In-person groups are currently offered in select cities in Texas, and participants must reside close enough to the meeting location to be able to commit to attending all sessions, barring any unforeseen emergencies.
- Virtual groups are open nationally unless otherwise specified.
Register For a Group
We are currently solidifying summer group details. As groups are finalized, more information will be added to this page, and will also be listed on our events page. To register for an in-person or online group, please complete the brief registration form by clicking the button below.
If you are a past participant of the V-SRG, you are encouraged to register for another group if interested. We update the curriculum frequently, and many find participating in another group with new spouses to be supportive and provide them with an added layer of meaningful growth and insight.
UPDATE RE COVID-19: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we will continue to monitor and follow local, state, national, and CDC guidelines and recommendations. We are committed to prioritizing the safety of all of our group members and leaders and will determine the status of in-person groups with that in mind. All site health and safety protocols will be made public so that participants can make informed decisions regarding their health and safety.
Interested in one-on-one peer support?
The VSN is now offering Resiliency Check-Ins, which provide you the opportunity to receive virtual one-on-one support from our VSN Peer Leaders. While this is not a substitute for clinical therapy, it gives you a chance to receive the one-on-one support that may not be possible in group settings. If you are a military/veteran spouse, partner, family member, or divorced or widowed from a service member or veteran, consider signing up today!
Listen to veteran spouse Anne Jackson share her story and discuss the importance of spouses coming together to support one another. Anne was one of the spouses involved in developing the first iteration of the V-SRG curriculum and was instrumental in helping to ensure the V-SRG program would meet the needs of veteran spouses.