By Paul Hughes
U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart
Coronavirus, school closures and the continual threat of a potential quarantine, coupled with the inability to travel and do some of your favorite things are likely increasing stress within your family. So what can you do when you are unable to blow off steam?
“Families overcoming stress or “FOCUS,” is a program that helps improve resilience skills for couples and families,” said Jane Carey, Stuttgart FOCUS site director. “FOCUS helps increase our coping abilities by increasing coping strategies.”
FOCUS helps families discuss how they’re feeling, by creating the story of their experiences.
“There is a lot of initial excitement about moving to Germany and, the opportunities it presents like travel and meeting new friends,” said Carey. “With COIVD we are finding that these chances are limited, or not available at all, so being able to work on family closeness and family connectedness can be really valuable and can help families and couples to cope with this extra stress.”
People authorized to use this service are active duty military and activated guard and reserve members and their dependents. The training is confidential, free and flexible, and services are offered at family friendly hours, and includes the use of virtual training or “teleFOCUS.” This way, the service can also be utilized by families that are geographically separated, providing an effective way to stay connected and keep relationships strong.
“We are actively helping couples gain perspective on where their partners are coming from, or why their partners have reacted to certain stressors. It has helped them identify their stress and regulate their emotions.” Carey said.