As the human toll of war continues to mount, seeping well beyond the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan, the true extent of suffering endured by veterans and their families is being assessed in new ways. Uniformed soldiers bearing battle scars of their own are returning home to find that their deployment has inflicted wounds of a different kind on spouses and children left behind. And, because those injuries are largely invisible, they can be easy to overlook, and difficult to treat.
The Home Again project was created to facilitate a smooth transition between deployment and homecoming for Illinois Army National Guard families. Creative arts therapies (music, art, and drama) are used to facilitate communication through workshops for children of returning soldiers, and age-appropriate take-home workbooks that provide all family members with activities that encourage expressive, enjoyable interaction between parents and children. This program's aim is to create a scaffold upon which a family can build a new normal while also providing a profound learning experience for psychology graduate students.